Ozone levels in the air were high on Thursday in Belgium, exceeding the European information threshold of 180 µg/m³ at 8 measuring stations in Wallonia, according to data from the Interregional Environmental Cell, Céline, which warned that the situation would worsen on Friday. This week’s high levels of ozone concentration were due in part to the hot, sunny weather and moderate wind.
The highest ozone concentration in the air on Thursday was 211 µg/m³, registered at 8.00 p.m. in
Lodelinsart. The 7 other stations in Wallonia where the information threshold was exceeded were Corroy-Le-Grand (200), Eupen (198) Dourbes (196), Liège (196), Herstal (195), Sainte-Ode (183) and Sinsin (181).
The threshold was also passed at four stations in Flanders, but none in Brussels.
Céline warned on Thursday that ozone concentrations would worsen on Friday in most of the country, except in coastal areas, due to the ongoing heatwave. On Friday, the Royal Meteorological Institute (IRM) announced that temperatures would be between 29 and 34 degrees.
However, ozone concentrations were expected to decrease on Saturday.
Depending on the ozone concentration, the length of exposure, the sensitivity of the exposed persons and their activities, these persons can experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, irritation of the eyes and the upper respiratory tracts and coughing. Symptoms can occur with increased frequency and severity in the case of asthmatic persons, Céline recalled.
High-risk persons, such as children and the elderly, are advised to avoid any unusual physical effort and any open-air exercises between 12 noon and 10.00 p.m. For the general public, Céline recommends avoiding sustained physical effort such as jogging.