Dust and from Africa covered the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete on Friday as southerly winds transported enormous quantities of dust and extremely fine sand across the Mediterranean from the Sahara Desert.
A dusky yellowish hue was seen in the sky, engulfing much of Rhodes in a dim haze, making today’s photographs of the area look like old, sepia-toned photographs from long ago.
Further south, the island of Crete was particularly affected by the pervasive dust from the south.
Health authorities have warned that there will be excessive amounts of suspended particulate matter resulting from the African dust that has now enveloped the island.
This is a fairly common occurrence when winds whip up from the south. The Saharan dust has been tested and is known to contain high concentrations of lead, zinc, chromium and vanadium. The African dust has been associated with causing health problems in the Greek population.
Greek hospitals have in the past received an influx of patients experiencing respiratory and cardiac problems during such dust storms, as particles with dangerous substances easily enter the respiratory system and cause irritation. In addition to causing respiratory difficulty, chemicals and heavy metals in the dust can also enter the bloodstream from the lungs.
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