Italian air quality measures under fire as cities choke in smog

Environmental campaigners have criticised the emergency measures put in place this week in northern Italian cities following a spike in air pollution.

Turin, home of car giant Fiat, banned cars classified as Euro 5 diesel and below, or registered before 2013. Meanwhile, Milan and a dozen other municipalities in the Po Valley announced similar curbs after the 50µg/m³ limit for particulate matter (PM10) was breached for several days.

But Andrea Minutolo, scientific coordinator for national environmental group Legambiente, said such measures are ineffective.

Minutolo told ENDS that temporary traffic bans, adopted every year, are decided when the situation is already critical but do not solve the problem. “In major northern Italian cities polluting cars should be banned permanently. Only this will lead to a change of mindset and lifestyle,” he said, noting that Italy has one of the highest rates of car use in Europe. 

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