Air Quality Index: Europeans can check air pollution level in their vicinity

Written by on November 16, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Air Quality Index: Europeans can check air pollution level in their vicinity

The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission launched the European Air Quality Index on November 16. The online feature lets users check the air quality around them, and in all of the European Union.

The website collects data from more than 2000 air quality monitoring stations on the continent. An interactive map shows users the concentration of several pollutants which are known to harm people’s health. Those are the following:

> Particulate matter PM2.5

> Particulate matter PM10

> Ground-level ozone (O3)

> Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

> Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

The EEA’s Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said, the new European Air Quality Index gave citizens “an easy way to access information on their local air quality, which can have a direct impact on their health. This information, accessible to everyone, is an important basis for a dialogue and decisions that are needed to safeguard people’s health, especially in cities.”

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, called air pollution an invisible killer. “The Air Quality Index is needed to inform European citizens on the state of the air they breathe in their own neighbourhood. We are working with cities, regions, countries and industry to tackle the sources of that pollution, which is a cocktail coming from factories, homes and fields, not only from transport. We must all work together to improve air quality.”

One of the countries with the worst air quality in all of Europe is Bulgaria. The problem is that the data from that country, inhabitants of which need information on air pollution the most, are not available yet, since local authorities in Bulgaria do not submit them to the EEA.

Bulgarian-language publication Mediapool said that the Ministry of Environment and Water in Sofia wanted to resolve the issue, which according to officials was “purely technical”.

The European Air Quality Index can be accessed here.

 

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