North Macedonia takes emergency anti-pollution steps

Dec 25, 2022, 8:50 AM | Updated: 8:51 am

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia’s government said it’s imposing emergency measures in the country’s capital, Skopje, and three other cities in order to protect people from severely high levels of air pollution.

No sports events will be staged on Sunday or on any day with high air pollution levels, and other outdoor activities will be curtailed. Starting Monday, construction work will be limited to a six-hour period, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The government has recommended companies excuse pregnant women and people over age 60 from work.

The government also said it would reduce the use of its official vehicles by half, and ordered the health and welfare ministries to provide shelter for homeless people and boost emergency services and home visits to people with chronic illnesses.

The measures were announced Saturday after days of lobbying by environmental groups asking the government to take action. The new rules coincided with an announcement by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, ranking North Macedonia’s capital as the third-most polluted city in the world for Saturday after Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek and Lahore, Pakistan. The levels of toxic PM10 and PM 2.5 particles in the air measured by IQAir in Skopje were about 28 times higher than the safety threshold established by the World Health Organization.

PM10 particles are particles smaller than 10 micrometers, or 10 one-millionths of a meter that are so-called coarse particles that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. PM2.5 particles can lodge deeper into the lungs, enter the bloodstream and are considered more dangerous.

North Macedonia has been one of Europe’s most polluted countries for years. Health authorities estimate that more than 3,000 people in this country of just over 2 million die each year as a result of air pollution, which is mostly a result of the heavy use of household wood-burning stoves during cold winters, an aging car fleet and the practice in some areas of garbage disposal by incineration.

The recent spike in energy prices has further boosted wood-burning stove use.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A customer holds whale meat purchased from a vending machine at Kyodo Senpaku's unmanned store, Thu...
Associated Press

Japan launches whale meat vending machines to promote sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its controversial products, has found a new way to cultivate clientele and bolster sales: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses three machines for whale […]
1 day ago
The Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 passes the High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in a turn during a p...
Associated Press

IMSA takes North American sports cars into hybrid era

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Cadillac growls, while the Porsche and BMW scream. The Acura sounds like an Indy car, and for fun, turn your back to the track and listen carefully as the cars roar around Daytona International Speedway in a new era of IMSA sports car racing. The top prototype class has […]
1 day ago
A new Jeep is delivered to a dealership in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, the Comm...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
1 day ago
Mass timber affordable home prototypes are shown at the Port of Portland in Portland, Ore. Friday, ...
Associated Press

Oregon pins hopes on mass timber to boost housing, jobs

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Inside a warehouse at the industrial Port of Portland lies what some believe could be the answer to Oregon’s housing crisis — a prototype of an affordable housing unit made from mass timber. Once mass-produced at the factory being planned at the port, the units ranging from 426 square feet (40 […]
1 day ago
FILE - The seal of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System is displayed ...
Associated Press

Wyoming crypto bank’s Federal Reserve application denied

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Federal Reserve Board has denied a Wyoming cryptocurrency bank’s application for Federal Reserve System membership, officials announced Friday, dealing a setback to the crypto industry’s attempts to build acceptance in mainstream U.S. banking. Many in crypto have been looking to Cheyenne-based Custodia Bank’s more than 2-year-old application as a bellwether […]
1 day ago
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Senior Airmen Andrew Whitener and Tyler Glodgett 341s...
Associated Press

Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
North Macedonia takes emergency anti-pollution steps