Air quality in Flanders improving, but individuals could do more

The various industries in Flanders have managed to reduce their emission of polluting substances in the air over the past 15 years. This can be read in a report issued by the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM). So far the good news. The bad news is that we, as individuals, are polluting the air more and more.
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The amount of particulate matter in the air - a kind of dust so extremely small that it harms your health as it can enter your body to stay (PM10 and PM2.5) -  saw a 12 percent drop between 2000 and 2015.

The emission of heavy metals saw declines of up to 96 percent, depending on the type, while ozone-triggering substances were reduced with about one third. Emissions of carbondioxide and other gases responsible for global warming declined with 12 percent in 15 years.

Traffic has a very bad impact

The VMM points out that these positive results are mainly thanks to the industry. Members of the public are polluting more. "Despite all the efforts which are being made, the average Fleming is releasing more polluting substances", says Katrien Smet of the VMM.

This is mainly due to increasing traffic levels. Cars may have become cleaner, there are simply more cars on our roads, also covering longer distances than 15 years ago. "Car exhausts are directly releasing particulate matter in the air, but the wearing down of tyres, brakes and a sporty driving style are also releasing particulate matter."

Some people, mainly in the countryside, are still burning wood for the purpose of heating their home. This also has a bad impact on the environment.