Do you remember the Hollies’ song “All I need is the air that I breathe… and to love you” ? Reading the shocking report about the composition of the atmospheric air in Athens, I propose you stick to love and get an oxygen mask! Then the air that we breathe day-in day-out contains among other heavy metals particles, also Arsenic, the most toxic chemical element. You might also remember the Alien NASA scientists recently discovered in an USA lake. They called the microbe an Alien as it is the only living creature on Earth able to live on arsenic!
Greek scientists discovered the poison “Arsenic” in the atmosphere of Athens. It is the first time scientists looked for the chemical composition of suspended particulates in the Attica basin of the Greek capital, Greek daily TA NEA reports.
According to the research results, the particles (pollutants) present in the (clean) air we breathe contain not only heavy metals but the most toxic chemical element, that is the
Arsenic is a known poison, and in accordance with the list issued annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the most toxic chemical.
Indeed, as noted by Greek scientists who have made the specialized measurements at the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany, the supposedly clear skies of Athens contain particles (known as PM 2,5) composed only of arsenic without any contamination from heavy metals.
“This discovery leads us to believe that the arsenic most probably originates from the combustion of diesel and the possibility of poor quality. That means it comes from cars, buses or heating boilers and probably not from industrial plants, ” Thanassis Gkontelitsas, lector of Mineralogy – Mineral Chemistry at the University of Athens told TA NEA.
Gkontelitsas conducted the investigation along with associate professor in the Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, Panagiotis Nastos, and Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Athens and scientific assistant at the Institute of Nuclear Physics “Demokritos”, Theodoros Mertzimekis.
The three scientists collected from the hills of Athens air samples and trapped with special filters the particles that were inhalable. Samples were taken during days when the atmosphere was apparently clear, without wind of Sahara dust transport.
POISON IN THE SKY OF ATHENS
After examining the composition of particles with aerodynamic diameter from 10 micrometers (PM 10) to 2,5 micrometers (PM 2,5) which are inhalable. the three Greek scientists came to the conclusion that:
The PM 10 particles contain vanadium, chromium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, tin, lead, arsenic.
The PM 2.5 particles which penetrate the lungs consist mainly of a combination of zinc – vanadium or only of arsenic or only of lead.
The scientists suspect that the particles of arsenic and heavy metals comes from burning poor quality Diesel fuel.
The survey gives scientific evidence to what many of Athens residents have been experienced for years, especially during the hot summer months: Respiratory problems.
Read our related article about Athens Smog.