Eurobarometer: 52% of Bulgarians believe air quality worsened in past decade

A poll by the European Union’s Eurobarometer agency has found that 52 per cent of Bulgarians believe that the country’s air quality has worsened in the past 10 years.

However, the findings of the poll – done through 1040 interviews between March 22 and April 17 and the results of which were released on October 24 – showed that the number holding this view had decreased by 13 percentage points compared with a similar poll in 2019.

Seven per cent of Bulgarians believed that air quality in the country had improved in the past decade, up by three percentage points compared with 2019, while 35 per cent said that it had stayed the same, up by 13 percentage points compared with 2019.

Asked if they had heard of the EU’s air quality standards, 73 per cent of Bulgarians said no while 27 per cent said yes, the latter up by four percentage points compared with the previous poll.

Just five per cent of Bulgarians polled said that they felt “very well informed” about air quality problems in the country, 30 per cent said that they felt “well informed” and 44 per cent said that they were not well informed.

Sixty-nine per cent saw respiratory illnesses as a very serious problem as a consequence of air pollution, 68 per cent named asthma, 65 per cent cardiovascular diseases and 52 per cent Acidification (known as acid rain, affecting forests etc) and eutrophication (increase of organic matter in an ecosystem, such as excessive growth of algae causing fish die‐offs in rivers or lakes).

Seventy-five per cent said that large industrial installations were not doing enough to promote good air quality, 67 per cent named fossil fuel-based energy producers, 67 per cent public authorities and 49 per cent households.

Asked if they done any of the following in the past two years to reduce harmful emissions, 34 per cent said that they had used public transport, a bicycle or walked instead of travelling by car, 46 per cent said that they had replaced appliances such as hot water boilers with newer equipment, 22 per cent said that they had changed their home heating system to one with lower emissions, 10 per cent said that they had used lower-emission fuel or less fuel in their barbecues and four per cent that they had bought an electric vehicle as their primary mode of transport.

Eighteen per cent said that they had done none of these things.

(Photo: Hans Thoursie/

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