Medical and environmental organisations call for serious measures to improve local air quality |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
16/05/2020

Medical and environmental organisations call for serious measures to improve local air quality

Air Pollution costing the life of more than one person a day in Malta.


28 medical and environmental organisations are calling for serious measures to improve local air quality.


The Centre of Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) this month issued a report showing that 11,000 deaths in Europe were avoided due to less consumption of fossil fuel during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Recent studies show that on average in Malta more than 500 people die prematurely every year due to air pollution alone (see here and here). Maltese citizens reported the worst exposure to pollution according to a 2017 Eurostat study.  Air pollution fell drastically during COVID-19 outbreak restrictions in Malta and so did asthma attacks, possibly due to both decrease in air pollution and restrictive measures. Another local hazard is ship pollution where studies show how a Mediterranean Emission Control Area (ECA) can prevent up to 6,000 lives annually in the region.


The organisations therefore recommend the following measures to be implemented and to persist even after the end of the pandemic:

  • taking interlinked health hazards - air and noise pollution, mental health and the obesity pandemic as seriously as the COVID-19 pandemic
  • introducing better incentives for renewable energy sources and cleaner means of transport 
  • making green areas accessible to all members of the public
  • combining work and tutorship from home with conventional methods whenever possible to decrease unnecessary commuting and related emissions
  • building better and safer infrastructure for both pedestrians and users of bicycles and similar means of transport
  • investing in improved public transport with possible addition of other transport means
  • providing better measures and infrastructure for shared and public transportation
  • creating larger permanent pedestrian zones in village cores and towns and ensuring the long-term implementation of plans recently mentioned by Government
  • ensuring full and timely implementation of the National Air Pollution Control Programme
  • establishing an Emission Control Area (ECA) in our seas to decrease seacraft emissions
  • introducing measures tackling IT illiteracy in all age groups since both public and private services are now more dependent on digitalisation


The general public is encouraged to approach their parliamentary and local council representatives so that all stakeholders can come together and target one of the biggest avoidable health risk amongst us.


Signed by:

  1. Association of Anaesthesiologists of Malta (AAM)
  2. Association of Private Family Doctors (APFD)
  3. Association of Surgeons of Malta (ASM)
  4. Attard Residents Environmental Network (AREN)
  5. Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG)
  6. Birdlife Malta
  7. Creating A Positive Environmentally Resourceful Society (CAPERS)
  8. Din l-Art Ħelwa (DLĦ)
  9. Extinction Rebellion
  10. Family Medicine Trainees Malta
  11. Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA)
  12. Friends of the Earth Malta
  13. Futur Ambjent Wieħed
  14. Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta (GMSM)
  15. Green House
  16. IRMCo – Integrated Resources Management
  17. Malta Association of Psychiatric Trainees (MAPT)
  18. Malta Association of Psychiatry (MAP)
  19. Malta Association of Public Health Medicine (MAPHM)
  20. Malta Medical Students’ Association (MMSA)
  21. Malta Obesity Association
  22. Maltese Association of Dermatology and Venereology (MADV)
  23. Maltese Association of Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians (MARNMP)
  24. Moviment Graffitti
  25. Nature Trust – FEE Malta
  26. Ramblers' Association of Malta
  27. The Archaeological Society Malta (ASM)
  28. Żminijietna – Voice of the Left

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Stqarrija Stampa Konġunta


Għaqdiet mediċi u ambjentali jsejħu għal miżuri serji għat-titjib tal-kwalità tal-arja


It-Tniġġis tal-Arja jiswa l-ħajja ta’ aktar minn persuna waħda kuljum f’Malta


28 għaqda medika u ambjentali qed isejħu għal miżuri serji għat-titjib tal-kwalità tal-arja.


Iċ-Ċentru għar-Riċerka fuq l-Enerġija u Arja Nadifa (CREA) dax-xahar ħareġ rapport li juri li 11,000 mewt fl-Ewropa ġew evitati minħabba tnaqqis fil-konsum ta’ prodotti taż-żejt bħala sors ta’ enerġija waqt il-pandemija tal-COVID-19.


Studji riċenti juru li f’Malta medja ta’ 500 persuna fis-sena tmut qabel iż-żmien minħabba l-kwalità tal-arja fil-pajjiż (ara hawn u hawn). Il-Maltin huma wkoll l-aktar ċittadini Ewropej li rrappurtaw li huma esposti għal tniġġis tal-arja skont studju tal-Eurostat fl-2017. It-tniġġis tal-arja naqas drastikament waqt ir-restrizzjonijiet tal-pandemija f’Malta u l-attakki tal-ażma naqsu wkoll possibilment kemm minħabba nuqqas ta’ tniġġis kif ukoll minħabba l-miżuri restrittivi. Theddida għas-saħħa oħra hija t-tniġġis minn vapuri f’Malta fejn studji juru li t-twaqqif ta’ Emission Control Area (ECA) Mediterranja jista’ jevita l-mewt ta’ 6,000 persuna fir-reġjun kull sena.


L-għaqdiet allura qed isejħu għal dawn il-miżuri biex jiġu implimentati u biex jibqgħu preżenti anke wara t-tmiem tal-pandemija tal-COVID-19:

  • li perikli għas-saħħa interkonnessi – it-tniġġis tal-arja u tal-istorbju, is-saħħa mentali u l-pandemija tal-obeżità jiġu meħuda b’serjetà kif ittieħdet il-pandemija tal-COVID-19
  • li jiġu offruti inċentivi aħjar għal xiri u użu ta’ sorsi ta’ enerġija rinnovabbli u mezzi ta’ trasport li jniġġsu inqas
  • li żoni ħodor u fil-kampanja jkunu aċċessibbli għaċ-ċittadini kollha f’Malta
  • li jkun hemm taħlita ta’ xogħol u tagħlim mid-dar flimkien mal-metodi konvenzjonali meta dan huwa possibbli sabiex ma jkunx hemm traffiku evitabbli bit-tniġġis li jġib miegħu 
  • li tinbena infrastruttura aktar sigura u avvanzata għall-użu pedonali, roti u mezzi ta’ trasport simili
  • li jsir investiment ikbar fit-trasport pubbliku b’possibilità ta’ żieda ta’ mezzi oħra ta’ trasport
  • li jkun hemm aktar miżuri u titjib fl-infrastruttura għal mezzi ta’ trasport kondiviżi u trasport pubbliku
  • li jiġu maħluqa żoni pedonali akbar u permanenti fiċ-ċentri tal-bliet u l-irħula u li jkun hemm implimentazzjoni fit-tul tal-pjanijiet riċentement imħabbra mill-Gvern
  • li ssir implimentazzjoni sħiħa u f’waqtha tal-Programm Nazzjonali għal-Kontroll tat-Tniġġis tal-Arja
  • li titwaqqaf  Emission Control Area (ECA) Mediterranja sabiex jitnaqqas it-tniġġis mill- vapuri
  • li jiġu introdotti miżuri li jikkumbattu l-illitteriżmu diġitali eżistenti f’kull età minħabba ż-żieda ta’ diġitalizzazzjoni fis-servizzi pubbliċi u dawk privati


Il-pubbliku huwa mħeġġeġ jitkellem mar-rappreżentanti parlamentari u lokali tiegħu sabiex l-imsieħba soċjali kollha jingħaqdu u jiġġieldu waħda mill-akbar kawżi ta’ mewt evitabbli.


Il-firmatarji huma: 

  1. Association of Anaesthesiologists of Malta (AAM)
  2. Association of Private Family Doctors (APFD)
  3. Association of Surgeons of Malta (ASM)
  4. Attard Residents Environmental Network (AREN)
  5. Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG)
  6. Birdlife Malta
  7. Creating A Positive Environmentally Resourceful Society (CAPERS)
  8. Din l-Art Ħelwa (DLĦ)
  9. Extinction Rebellion
  10. Family Medicine Trainees Malta
  11. Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA)
  12. Friends of the Earth Malta
  13. Futur Ambjent Wieħed
  14. Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta (GMSM)
  15. Green House
  16. IRMCo – Integrated Resources Management
  17. Malta Association of Psychiatric Trainees (MAPT)
  18. Malta Association of Psychiatry (MAP)
  19. Malta Association of Public Health Medicine (MAPHM)
  20. Malta Medical Students’ Association (MMSA)
  21. Malta Obesity Association
  22. Maltese Association of Dermatology and Venereology (MADV)
  23. Maltese Association of Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians (MARNMP)
  24. Moviment Graffitti
  25. Nature Trust – FEE Malta
  26. Ramblers' Association of Malta
  27. The Archaeological Society Malta (ASM)
  28. Żminijietna – Voice of the Left