Increased ozone concentrations are expected today compared to yesterday. This is indicated by the Inter-regional Environment Unit (CELINE) in its daily report. The unit states that there is an increased risk of exceeding the European Information threshold across the country.
Heat and sunshine, combined with low wind, favour ozone concentrations. The current European Information threshold, fixed at 180µg/m³, is at risk of being exceeded, especially in Central Belgium and the east of the country.
Tomorrow, ozone concentrations are again anticipated to be higher (between 160 and 205 µg/m³). In numerous locations in Belgium, the European Information threshold is forecast to be exceeded. On Thursday, although temperatures are still forecast to be high, a stronger wind is anticipated. CELINE is not forecasting that the European Information threshold will be exceeded. This is yet to be confirmed.
On Monday, the European threshold was exceeded in two measurement locations in Flanders, these being in Schoten and Idegem.
Increased ozone concentrations can lead to respiratory difficulties, in particular during significant physical exertion. There is the potential for both eye and upper respiratory tract irritation, and coughing amongst individuals susceptible to suffering from these conditions. There is also the possibility of an increase in both the frequency and seriousness of asthmatic symptoms.
Those susceptible to health problems as a result of atmospheric pollution, whether children, older people or anyone suffering from respiratory problems, should avoid unusual physical exertion, and all outdoor exercise, between the hours of midday and 10 p.m. on any given day, during these conditions. It is also recommended that everyone refrains from any intense physical exertion during these hours. Generally, ozone concentrations are 50% lower in indoor environments when compared to outdoors.