Healthy Air, Healthy Climate

Dr. Sadun Bölükbaşı, a cyclist and physician living in Adana, Turkey, wears an LED light mask showing real-time measurements of local air pollution. Red is more than five-times World Health Organization recommended limits.

With a population of 1.7 million, Adana lies at the southern part of Turkey, in the heart of Çukurova, which is rich in agricultural production and home to 6 million people. Even though Adana hosts several natural reserves such as Yumurtalık Lagoon and Akyatan Lake, it shares the same destiny of Cukurova Bay that covers Adana, Hatay and Mersin cities. Unfortunately, due to its geographical conditions and seaways, in Cukurova Bay there are 2 active coal power plants with 2410 MW installed capacity, 10 steel-iron plants, one natural gas fired plant (900 MW), one oil-fired thermal power plant (220 MW) that contribute to air pollution in Adana. [1]

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) calculations, Adana’s residents breathe levels of fine particulate matter, PM 2.5, that are 2.8 times higher than the WHO’s safe levels.[2]According to official air quality measurements, in 2015, only 1 out of 4 official air quality measurement stations in Adana measured annual PM10 levels below of the WHO’s recommended levels.[3]