Dust from the Sahara came to Poland. Researchers found that in Kalimia contains radioactive elements. What does this mean for our health?
Every year, dust from the Sahara is carried by the wind and then falls in various European countries. This is also happening now. Although it reaches mainly the southern and western parts of the continent, it is less intense, but it also appears in our country. This phenomenon is related to sandstorms and although it is interesting, it may have a negative impact on our health, all due to the radioactive elements it contains.
Dust from the Sahara over Poland
Kalima, i.e. sand dust from the African Sahara, flew over Poland. It took four days to reach our country. According to the IMWM spokesman, Grzegorz Walijewski – yesterday (August 16, 2023) its highest concentration was in Poland. This particularly concerned Małopolska, Podkarpacie and the Lublin region.
“Dust from the Sahara moved with moist and warm air from the south. It flew over Poland through the Mediterranean Sea, Greece, Bulgaria and the Balkans, and not through Spain and France as usual,” added the specialist. He also noted that Saharan dust falls with rain and is therefore invisible to us. The spokesman explained that today (August 17, 2023) the dust may move over the province. Pomeranian Voivodeship, but there won’t be much of it anymore because it’s “falling out”.
Where do the radioactive elements in the Saharan dust come from?
Scientists’ reports about dust from the Sahara are quite disturbing. It turns out that the Saharan dust contained the presence of radioactive elements, such as the isotope cesium-137 and radioactive isotopes of beryllium and lead. According to the elDiario website, they may be related to radioactive fallout.
The radioactive element comes from nuclear tests conducted last century (in the early 1960s) in Algeria by France – at the time when it carried out controlled explosions on this country. According to scientists, the presence of cesium isotopes in the dust is also related to the nuclear accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima. Cesium-37 is a radioactive isotope that is produced by fission caused by a nuclear explosion. In turn, beryllium is used in weapons of mass destruction as a shield for nuclear charges.
Is radioactive dust harmful to our health?
As scientists report in ElPeriodico, this fallout may be radioactive because radioactive elements also fall along with the dust. Although the radioactivity of dust is not high and it does not pose a direct threat to our health, it can cause unpleasant ailments because it is harmful, for example, to the respiratory system. The discovery of radioactive elements in Kalima dust requires further research and analysis to fully understand their impact on our health and determine possible consequences. However, it is known that Saharan dust increases the air temperature and in some countries reduces visibility, which may indirectly affect people’s well-being and sometimes make everyday functioning more difficult.