Air pollution was high late on Wednesday night and on Thursday morning as a
result of Lag Ba’omer bonfires, with the highest concentration of respirable
particles occurring from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., the Environmental Protection
Concentration of respirable particles smaller than 10
microns, measured in micrograms per cubic meter, which on a typical clear day is
about 60 on average throughout the country, was highest in Kiryat Ata near Haifa
and in Beersheba, at 168 and 166, respectively, followed by Arad, with
Jerusalem’s Romema neighborhood had a concentration of 143
micrograms per cu.m. and its Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood had 135. The southern
portion of Tel Aviv had measures of 107 micrograms per cu.m., while Modi’in had
120 and Beit Shemesh had 111.
Concentrations of particles smaller than
2.5 microns, which on a clear day averages 30 to 40 micrograms per cu.m., were
particularly high in Gedera between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., at 250 micrograms per
In Moshav Nir Yisrael near Ashkelon, the concentration at 10:30
p.m. was about 190 micrograms per cu.m.
The measurement of particle
concentrations was influenced by the locations of the fires relative to the
monitoring stations, as well as meteorological conditions such as wind direction
and speed, the Environmental Protection Ministry noted.
In addition, this
year particle concentrations decreased in the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, due
to the reduction of open space in these cities and others, the ministry
Research conducted in the field indicated that there was an upsurge
in emergency room visits related to air quality due to Lag Ba’omer bonfires, the
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