Environment

Sarajevo world’s most polluted city, poor air quality seen across Western Balkans

Foto: Wikimedia Commons/Julian Nitzsche

Published

December 4, 2018

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Published:

December 4, 2018

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The Sarajevo authorities could introduce measures to limit the use of cars, and are already urging individuals and businesses to cut down on the use of solid fuels and drive less. Air quality measurements by the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) continued to show Sarajevo to be the world’s most polluted city earlier today.

According to air quality expert Martin Tais, Sarajevo has heightened levels of particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5, while Zenica’s top pollutant is SO2, local media reported, citing Tais’ Facebook profile.

The US Embassy measurements today were showing the Air Quality Index (AQI) of 386, marked “hazardous”, which stands for levels above 300, carrying the health alert that everyone may experience more serious health effects.

In Priština, the US Embassy’s measurements today were showing the AQI of 159, marked “unhealthy.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) previously published data concerning mean concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 for 2018, ranking Skopje, Macedonia as Europe’s most polluted capital city,

In terms of mean concentrations of both PM10 and PM2.5, the World Health Organization Ambient Pollution Database for 2018 ranks Skopje as Europe’s most polluted capital city, with PM2.5 values four times the recommended levels.

The Serbian Environmental Protection Agency’s (SEPA) data published on December 2 showed Niš and Valjevo to be the most polluted cities in the country over the preceding 24 hours. The average value of suspended particles and heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and nickel) stood at 184 micrograms per cubic meter in Valjevo and 154 micrograms per cubic meter in Niš.

Clean air values are those up to 50 micrograms per cubic meter. Heightened levels were also measured in Belgrade (80 micrograms), Novi Sad (71 micrograms), Subotica (76 micrograms), Smederevo (94 micrograms), and Bor (59 micrograms), N1 wrote, citing Beta.

Suspended particles are the product of internal combustion engines, industrial plants, burning solid fuels for heating, construction sites, and landfills.

Reducing emissions of coal-fired plants alone could save 6,460 lives annually

The emission reductions that need to be achieved in the Western Balkans could result in 6,460 saved lives each year, as well as saved health costs of up to EUR 2,724 million, according to data from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), published in late 2017.

Yearly, health costs could drop down from EUR 8,586 million to EUR 767 million. The implementation of new rules would mean reducing the number of deaths each year from 7,206 to 745, according to HEAL.

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