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Slow Down for… SMOG?

February 19, 2008

from Xpats.com… 

BRUSSELS – A pollution peak is expected today in Belgium due to the lack of wind and a thermal inversion phenomenon. Authorities are requesting drivers to slow down to a maximum of 90 kms/h on motorways and to avoid using their vehicles if possible”

Apparently the ‘Smog Alert’ has been all over the radio but with my Dutch & French skills being what they are, I had no idea what was going on. I saw the flashing ’90’ signs on the highway but thought it was just another strange Belgian driving thing – “Reduced speeds on the third Tuesday of each month ending in ‘y’ in English and ‘i’ in Dutch.

Anyway, once I got the real explanation, a few questions were raised…

Does this happen in all cities? Conditions make an area more susceptible to pollution so the officials lower the speed limit?

Also – does smog look a lot like fog? I know that’s a stupid question butI’m staring out the window right now and it doesn’t look like any different than last week – when we had a ton of fog.

Finally – Does this happen all the time? Everyone and their brother has warned me about the ‘horrible Belgian weather’ (to which I reply, ‘Have you been to Cleveland?’) but no one mentioned smog…

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