Sofia: Bad air quality on January 20

Written by on January 20, 2018 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Sofia: Bad air quality on January 20

Since the strong winds have receded, the air quality in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia has worsened again. On the morning of January 20, the concentration of particulate matter (PM), which is known to cause respiratory and heart diseases, as well as cancer, was high to very high in most of the city.

At around 7am, the concentration of PM10 was between 38 and 150µg/m³ (micrograms per cubic metre) in the eastern half of Sofia. A value of 50 is still seen as sort of acceptable, while 150 would be three times the acceptable amount. Regarding the even more dangerous PM2.5, between 19 and 58µg/m³ were measured in most of the eastern part of the city (source: Air Bulgaria).

In the northern part of the Gorublene quarter and most of the western part of the Bulgarian capital, the values were far worse. Here, the PM10 concentration was between 45 and 325µg/m³. The latter is an extremely high concentration, which was measured in the area between the Ovcha Kupel residential area and Zapaden Park. The PM2.5 concentration varied between 23 and 127µg/m³ in this part of Sofia.

The Air Bulgaria map this morning. Picture by Air Bulgaria.

Only in the southern, more posh quarters of Dragalevtsi, Simeonovo and Boyana, the air quality was actually fine this morning. But in the rest of the city, the breathing air for 1.3 million inhabitants and hundreds of guests is bad and unhealthy. Up to six times the maximum PM concentration anyone should breathe was measured.

At the beginning of this month, things were even worse than that. For several days, the PM concentration registered was up to 26 times the recommended value. Even so, City Hall refrained from taking drastic measures it had previously discussed for days with an exceptionally high air pollution.

Regarding air pollution, Sofia is one of the most toxic cities in the European Union. The number of deaths caused by dirty air is the highest too.

Air Bulgaria relies on many measuring devices located all over Sofia.






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