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'Dangerously high dust levels' hit big cities

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'Dangerously high dust levels' hit big cities
Photo: DPA
10:33 CEST+02:00
Germany is being exposed to very high levels of fine dust in the air, the environmental office (UBA) said on Tuesday. In big cities, levels exceed those deemed safe by experts.

The year so far has seen unusually high levels of fine dust particles in the air, according to figures from the UBA seen by Die Welt newspaper. Eastern Germany has been particularly badly affected.

When breathed in in large quantities or with prolonged exposure, these particles can cause respiratory problems. They can also damage buildings in extreme instances.

In Berlin, experts have measured levels higher than the UBA's safe upper limit of 50 micrograms of dust per cubic metre on 33 days in 2014. In Frankfurt Oder on the Polish border, 32 days have exceeded the limit.

Leipzig, in Saxony, and Halle in Saxony Anhalt also saw 30 days with limits over the 50 microgram limit.

“Limits are being surpassed generally where there is lots of traffic and in cities,” UBA fine dust expert Marcel Langner told Die Welt.

He added that introducing a law that will see all heavy machinery fitted with a soot filter was currently being discussed.

SEE ALSO: Air pollution 'kills 47,000 a year'

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