Saharan dust cloud over Attica ‘not toxic’ says lung specialist

Pulmonogy professor Panagiotis Bechrakis was reassuring about the impact of the Saharan dust cloud over Attica’s skies on people’s health, in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Monday.

The dust cloud was not toxic or harmful in the same way as city smog, he said, though people with respiratory problems, children and the elderly should exercise caution and remain indoors as much as possible, he said. The dust poses no danger for healthy people that do not belong to vulnerable groups, he added.

He advised that people breathe through the nose as much as possible, allowing the nasal cavities to filter the particles and stop them reaching the lungs, and to not hesitate to use masks or handkerchiefs to cover their faces. For those with respiratory problems and other health issues, Bechrakis advised that they avoid physical exertion since this would mean breathing in greater quantities of dust.