Cars and other vehicles clearly contribute to pollution levels in the Balearics. | Joan Torres

Ecologists in Action, a confederation of over 300 Spanish ecological groups, has presented its latest annual report. According to the report, the whole of the Balearics has air pollution levels higher than those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Moreover, some 150,000 people (13% of the islands' population) live in areas where air pollution exceeds limits legally permitted in Spain.

These results highlight pollution that comes principally from cars and other road traffic, shipping and electricity-generating power plants. The report's coordinator, Miguel Ceballos, says that the main pollutant is tropospheric ozone, i.e. that which is from ground level to heights of around twenty kilometres above sea level. This is also referred to as "bad" ozone, which affects both people and vegetation.

Data for the report were collected from twenty stations that monitor air quality in the Balearics. At most of them the contamination levels were higher than the WHO recommendations, with the worst results registered at the Joan March Hospital (Bunyola), in Sant Antoni (Ibiza) and at the Casas Menut in Escorca in the Tramuntana mountains.

The report also notes that a downward trend in the level of nitrogen dioxide in Palma (specifically at the Foners station) was reversed last year, with average concentrations above those between 2012 and 2014.