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Yes, there is pollution in the rural world

Experts warn that the effects of intensive agriculture and livestock pollute as much as the smoke from cars in a city

Planta de General d'Olis a Juneda, que ha arrossegat crítiques durant anys. © Albert González Farran
General d'Olis plant in Les Borges Blanques, which has hired criticism for years. © Albert González Farran

We are not save. Living in rural towns is not a guarantee of breathing clean air. Not now. Not any more. Since agriculture and animal livestock have become intensive activities to be minimally profitable, the air we breathe is becoming as harmful as that of big cities. CSIC researchers such as Xavier Querol and Andrés Alaustey have been monitoring (yet not exhaustively) the particles in suspension that we breathe in the air in Lleida. The first conclusions show that there are a lot of emissions that come directly from agricultural activities, which combined with those from the treatment plants for animal excrement and food processing (olive oil plants), and due to an orography that favors the stagnation of air, turn West Catalonia into one of the most polluted areas. In fact, our region (Segrià, Garrigues, Urgell and Pla d'Urgell) became last year the second area in the country with the most preventive notices due to pollution in all of Catalonia. Only behind the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Life in the rural world is also polluted.

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