Hold your breath, Chilean fans, it’s going to be a smoggy night.
Chile’s government is requesting that soccer fans don’t participate in the national pastime of barbecuing during World Cup matches because of air pollution.
Apparently, the clouds of smoke coming from the grills full of charred meats are exacerbating Santiago’s pollution problem. The additional smoke from burning charcoal during Chile’s match against Australia on June 13 nearly reached the level of an environmental emergency. Before Wednesday’s match, officials declared a “pre-emergency,” banning wood-burning stoves, restricting the use of cars and ordering the closure of more than 1,000 companies.
From the BBC:
“When we have low winds and we’re at critical levels what we are saying is that people should avoid burning charcoal because that makes the air quality worse,” said Claudio Orrego, the government official responsible for the Santiago region, on Wednesday. “I’ve been the butt of a lot of jokes for this and I take it with humor, but I also urge people to take it seriously.”
But after Chile’s historic win over Spain, good luck keeping Chileans from their celebratory “asado.”