Blue Alert: smog darkens the sky

Red is the favorite color of the Chinese who would never associate it with a feeling of danger. So in Beijing these days (we are in January 2013) we are talking about blue alert to indicate asmog emergency that in our country it would be a red alert that couldn't be redder.

The situation in the Chinese capital is dramatic and the authorities have advised, almost ordered, to stay at home for the elderly and children. They said who has to go out to go to work wear a mask, but not a mask, one antigas mask.

The sky is clear but the sun has not been seen for days, one gray hood of smog prevents rays from filtering: perhaps this is why the Chinese have chosen blue to indicate the alarm, the blue that is disappearing.

The level of Pm 10, the fine dust that penetrates the nose and pharynx has never been this high, but it is the Pm 2.5 to worry more (700 compared to an EU limit of 25) because these powders are even finer and penetrate deeply into the lungs causing asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, allergies and tumors.

And in Italy? We are not at the levels of Beijing but woe to joke: in Milan the smog has been out of bounds for 12 consecutive days (considering that today is January 14), a chronic situation in the winter period, the worst for smog, and we speak for the umpteenth time of traffic block throughout the province and driving ban for i Euro 3 vehicles.

Still in Milan, it becomes urgent again Plan for the air (they called it Pria): less polluting public transport, stringent measures for fireplaces and wood stoves, environmental certificates for companies, blocking of Euro 3 vehicles.

But the fear, once again, is that once the winter emergency has passed, everything will be as before and next year we will find ourselves all over again. Strong and long-term interventions are needed: incentivizing urban electric mobility, not just for public transport, it's certainly a good idea. In the USA they are buying smog-eating machines (something more than prototypes) designed and built with Italian technology, another good idea.

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