By sunrise on Lag Ba’omer Sunday, air pollution levels had risen up to 17 times
their normal values across the country, the Environmental Protection Ministry
As Israeli revelers created bonfires across the country
beginning Saturday evening, an increase in the concentration of respirable
particles occurred, with levels peaking at most air pollution monitoring
stations between 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday, the ministry
One of the most striking features of fires is their ability to
cause a dangerous increase in the concentration of fine particles that are
smaller than 2.5 microns and can easily pass into people’s airways. Particle
concentrations are influenced according to the locations and monitoring levels
of the fires as well as meteorological conditions such as wind speed, wind
direction and atmospheric turbulence conditions, the ministry said.
year there were low concentrations of particles at the monitoring stations in
the Gush Dan, Jerusalem and other places, primarily due to the reduction of open
spaces within Israel’s cities, the office noted. Meanwhile, field studies have
shown that there is an increased incidence of emergency hospital visits in areas
that are in close proximity to the temporarily worsened air quality on Lag
Ba’omer, according to the ministry.
In Bnei Brak, near Highway 4, the
concentration of 2.5-micron particles measured in micrograms per cubic meter was
533 – 17.8 times higher than levels on a clear day.
Hanavi neighborhood featured concentrations of about 161 micrograms per cubic
meter, 5.4 times the levels on a clear day. Meanwhile, Tel Aviv’s Station D
measured concentrations of about 99 micrograms per cubic meter – 3 times the
levels on a clear day, the Environmental Protection Ministry said.