Netherlands readies more sensitive smog alert

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The cabinet is working an a new smog alarm to better inform the more than a million Dutch people suffering from respiratory problems of impurities in the air.

State Secretary Wilma Mansveld of Infrastructure and Environment announced this in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, on Monday.

In the new system, the RIVM's advice will also include information on the concentration of particulate matter in the air, in addition to the information on ozone and nitrogen dioxide in the air. The warning will also be issued sooner - at 70 micrograms of particulate matter in the air, instead of the current warning at 200 micrograms. This is already the standard in Belgium.

The RIVM is developing a new way of sending the smog alert. This will include a new smog app for smart phones, which would make it easy for people to check the air quality in their area.

Smog could cause irritation in the eyes, nose and throat. This especially causes problems for people with respiratory disorders and athletes.