Concern over poor Italian air quality

Government reports rising fine particulate levels in 2000 despite fall in other pollutants

The Italian government's report on air quality in 2000 has sparked concern over pollution by fine particles (PM10) and ozone, despite falls in other substances such as benzene. Most worrying was PM10, environment minister Altero Matteoli revealed last week, with levels currently exceeding a forthcoming EU legal limit in almost all of Italy's major cities.

In the northern cities of Brescia, Turin, Milan and Venice, as well as in Rome and Florence in central Italy and Bari and Taranto in the South, levels still exceed the EU limit by more than 50%, the figures show.

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