It is a fact that air quality and low pollution in Benidorm is exceptional, only surpassed by cities like Sydney in Australia, Kitimat in Canada or some cities in Arizona, New Mexico, Washington or California in United States of America. This is reflected in the World Health Organization (WHO) report about ambient air pollution in 2014, where Benidorm leads important cities such as London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Oslo, Trondheim or Amsterdam.

The air that you can breathe in Benidorm is top quality, ideal for treating diseases such as asthma, lung diseases or cardiovascular diseases.

Air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting many countries and regions. According to WHO, the causes of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths are

  • 80% ischaemic heart diseases and strokes
  • 14% chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases or acute lower respiratory infections
  • 6% lung cancer

WHO estimates that air pollution caused 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012. By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the number of cases from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases including asthma.

Therefore, it is evident that air pollution at current levels in some European cities is responsible for a significant number of deaths, hospital admissions and exacerbation of symptoms. The air we breathe contains emissions from motor vehicles, industry, heating and commercial sources (outdoor), as well as tobacco smoke and household fuels (indoor). Air pollution harms human health, particularly in those already vulnerable because of their age or existing health problems.

How air quality is measured?

Particulate matter (PM) is the unit that is typically used to measure air quality. This reference indicates the pollution concentration in terms of micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) in the air. The most health-damaging particles are those with a diameter of 10 μm or less, which can penetrate and lodge inside the lungs. This measure is indicated in PM10. When sufficiently sensitive measurement tools are available, concentrations of fine particles (diameter of 2.5 μm or less) are measured in terms of PM2.5.

These health-damaging particles are a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. The major components of PM are sulfate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust and water. High concentration levels of these particles are dangerous and harmful to health. The recommended limits by WHO are

PM2.5:

  • 10 μg/m3 annual mean
  • 25 μg/m3 24-hour mean

PM10:

  • 20 μg/m3 annual mean
  • 50 μg/m3 24-hour mean

Air Quality levels in Europe and Spain

World Health Organization publishes a database containing results of ambient air pollution from almost 1.600 cities in 91 countries, updated regularly. The world’s average PM10 level is 71 ug/m3.

Ambient air pollution levels by countries in Europe (PM10 annual mean):

  • United Kingdom 21
  • Switzerland 23
  • Lithuania 23
  • Germany 23
  • Latvia 23
  • Spain 23
  • Andorra 24
  • Belarus 24
  • France 25
  • Netherlands 25
  • Greece 26
  • Belgium 27
  • Austria 27
  • Portugal 27
  • Czech Republic 29
  • Slovenia 31
  • Italy 32
  • Russian Federation 33
  • Hungary 33
  • Slovakia 34
  • Cyprus 36
  • Poland 39
  • Romania 39
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 49
  • Serbia 53
  • Bulgaria 58
  • Turkey 58
  • Israel 64

Logically, each country has areas with cleaner air. In the case of Spain, Benidorm has the lowest air pollution rate (PM10 annual mean) in Spain:

  • Clearlake, Califonia 7
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico 8
  • Sydney 9
  • Benidorm 10
  • Vancouver 11
  • Palma de Mallorca 14
  • Edinburgh 15
  • Liverpool 16
  • Glasgow 17
  • Stockholm 15
  • Dublin 18
  • Valencia 20
  • Osaka 20
  • Munich 21
  • Madrid 22
  • Tokio 22
  • London 22
  • Oslo 23
  • New York 23
  • Paris 24
  • Berlin 24
  • Barcelona 25
  • Hamburg 25
  • Amsterdam 25
  • Prague 26
  • Vienna 27
  • Sevilla 29
  • Buenos Aires 30
  • Bilbao 31
  • Roma 32
  • Moscow 33
  • Los Angeles 33
  • Milan 37
  • Istambul 48
  • Rio de Janeiro 67
  • Mexico DF 93
  • Beijing 121
  • Cairo 135
  • Abu Dhabi 170
  • Delhi 286

The World Health Organization considers Costa Blanca climate as one of the most favorable in the world for overall health and well-being. Undoubtedly, the Mediterranean climate contributes to the superb quality of the air. Due to presence of beaches and mountains in Benidorm, the air is charged with negative ions, which are believed to lead to a biochemical reaction helping to increase serotonin levels in our bodies, which regulates our mood.

If you suffer a respiratory disease or you wish a place to recover from a medical treatment, Benidorm is your best health destination. So why do not take a big deep breath of fresh air from your balcony with your morning coffee each day when you get up in Benidorm?