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When the air quality map for Munich is first accessed, the overall colour which is first seen is green. The background of the map is green as are most of the visible discs. These discs indicate the location of the monitoring stations. The legend at the bottom of the screen explains what the different colours signify. The colours range from pale green for good air quality through yellow, orange and red to purple and maroon which indicates hazardous quality. Inside these discs is a number which is the US AQI reading. This shows that the higher numbers have poorer quality air, but it can easily be seen because of the different colours. The US AQI number is internationally recognised and endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Six of the most prolific pollutants are measured and this figure is calculated from the readings. It is used when comparing air quality in cities throughout the world by using recognised methods and standard procedures.
Once expanded to full-screen, a list will appear on the left-hand side of the screen showing four important pieces of information. These are the location of the monitoring stations or air monitors, the location of any wildfires burning in the vicinity, the air quality and the wind direction. This is particularly useful if there are any fires burning as it shows whether or not the ensuing smoke will blow over the city or not. As of writing in April 2022, there were no fires in the locality of Munich.
When expanded, it can be seen that there are five air monitoring stations within the Munich environs and four of them show good quality air. Only one is showing “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 55.
On the right-hand side of the screen is seen a table which gives information about the top ranking most polluted cities in the world so it’s easy to compare your city with others.
The air pollution map for Munich is accessed via the main city page. When the two pages are read as one, the reader will gain a huge amount of knowledge about different aspects of air pollution and its ramifications.
The information on the main page, which is reflected on the air quality map, shows that the air quality for Munich was “Good” with a US AQI reading of 37 (Green). The main pollutant is listed as being PM2.5 which was 9 µg/m³. This places it as slightly below twice the guideline level of 5 µg/m³ as suggested by the WHO.
Scrolling further down the page will show a forecast for the next few days which could prove invaluable when planning future trips to other places. You will also see a ranking table for other cities of interest so you can see how your chosen city compares with others when it comes to air quality.
With just five discs on the Munich air quality map, it is relatively easy to see where the worst air quality is. Out of the five discs, just one disc is coloured yellow which indicates “Moderate” air quality and a US AQI figure of 54. The remaining four discs are green in colour which indicates “Good” air quality. The numbers range from twelve to forty-five.
When selecting the yellow disc, it is unclear why the air quality is worse here, but local people who know the city will probably know what is in this area to cause the elevated levels.
When scrolling down the page, all five stations are listed by their names and ranked in order of air quality. Some people may choose to follow these stations so they will be alerted of certain changes which take place. It is also possible to follow a contributor.
Should you wish to receive the latest updates, there is a link at the bottom of the page which will enable you to download the free air quality app for your mobile device.
The air pollution map for Munich indicates where the worst air quality is but it does not show where the pollution comes from.
When looking at levels of nitrogen dioxide, Munich has the worst value nationwide. The monitoring station at Landshuter Allee exceeded the nitrogen dioxide limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter on average in 2021 - as the only place in Bavaria.
Nitrogen dioxide pollution had declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 47 stations in Bavaria for which annual averages from 2021 were available, only Landshuter Allee in Munich broke the limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter.
Nitrogen oxides are formed as products of undesirable side reactions in combustion processes. The main sources are internal combustion engines and furnaces for coal, oil, gas, wood and waste.
In urban areas, road traffic is the major source of nitrogen dioxide. People with damaged airways and allergies in particular suffer from high levels of air pollution from the irritant gas.
Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) poses a health risk, primarily because of its small size. The fine particles can penetrate deeper into the airways, stay there longer and cause lasting damage to the lungs. Due to the small size of the fine dust particles, the resulting long residence time in the atmosphere (days to weeks) and the atmospheric transport distance of up to 1,000 kilometres, PM2.5 is of high national and international relevance.
Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Scientific studies have linked increases in daily PM2.5 exposure with increased respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, emergency department visits and deaths. Studies also suggest that long term exposure to fine particulate matter may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease. People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM2.5.