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Greece’s Wildfires Danger Aftermath: Toxic Air Will Linger

ATHENS – Adding to worry during a re-surging COVID-19 pandemic in which the Coronavirus is an invisible enemy making every breath a risk is that micro-particles from Greece's wildfires will stay in the air indefinitely.

The smell of smoke hovered over Greece's capital for days after fires in the northern suburbs, making the air smell like a doused campfire or fireplace, and with white soot falling like snow.

But the biggest danger was those micro-particles that could cause serious health damage, especially to those with breathing problems, people being advised to wear top-quality surgical masks outside for protection.

Nikos Thomaidis, a Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Athens University, told SKAI TV that the sheer scope and scale of hundreds of fires, one of which cut in half the 1,422-square mile island of Evia, means particles will stay in the air. 

“The particles will remain suspended due to the winds, even if the atmosphere clears for a while,” he stressed, advising people to get rid of the sources that could add to the problem. 

“All burnt materials should be removed soon,” he said, adding that “soil, water and even food of animal origin should be monitored,” for some time.

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