Be the first to measure and contribute air quality data to your community.
The air pollution map for Kharkiv has a page of its own which is easy to find from the main city page. Clicking on the map icon will open the link to the map page which is filled with information about air quality.
When the map is first viewed, the most noticeable element of it will be the overall colour of the background. This very cleverly reflects the current air quality. At the start of the fourth quarter of 2022, the colour was green which indicates that the air quality is “Good”. A full explanation of the colours used can be seen in the legend at the foot of the screen. These colours are standardised throughout the entire IQAir website.
Looking back to the main city page, across the top of the screen will be a coloured banner. This colour also reflects the air quality at that time, but there is also a number published at the top of it. To the right of this number is an asterisk which tells the readers that this US AQI reading has been derived from overhead satellite data and not from ground-level air monitoring stations. Not all cities throughout the world have access to their own physical measuring stations. However, the number is calculated in just the same way. Six of the most prolific air pollutants are measured and the US AQI reading is calculated from the figures. The common pollutants are Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide.
In the middle of October 2022, Kharkiv was enjoying a period of “Good” air quality with a US AQI reading of just 25. The main pollutant measured was PM2.5 which is often used as a benchmark for air pollution. The recorded level of this pollutant was 6.1 µg/m³ which is slightly over the target figure of 5 µg/m³ as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
There is a lot more information on the air pollution map for Kharkiv but in order to see it all, the map needs to be viewed in full-screen mode. Only in this way can all the information that is available be seen.
The viewer will see a list of four choices on the far left-hand side of the screen. They can all be deactivated if required to see what each choice shows.
The first option shows the position of any ground-level air monitoring stations, but as already stated, Kharkiv has no physical stations and has to rely on satellite information for that data. Option number two would show the location of any wildfires that might be burning in the local area, but currently, there are none.
The third option looks very dramatic as it can change the colour of the map to reflect the current air quality. Currently, the overall colour is green which tells the viewer that the air quality is “Good” now. If the user finds the colour to be a distraction, then it can be deactivated and the map will revert to a more subdued palette.
The fourth option shows the speed and direction of the prevailing winds. This information is very useful if there are any fires as it could give a good indication of where the smoke will blow.
More information can be seen on the right-hand side of the screen in the form of a table which ranks world cities according to their levels of pollution. By default, only seven cities are shown but the table can be expanded to reveal the rest of them. This can be very useful information when making comparisons.
The source of pollution is not directly shown on the air quality map for Kharkiv, however, the main source of atmospheric air pollution is mobile sources, the number of which in the city of Kharkiv is constantly increasing, and with it, the gross emission of harmful substances into the atmospheric air is increasing. The source of atmospheric air pollution in Ukraine from emissions from stationary sources is the enterprises of the fuel and energy complex – 36 per cent of the total volume of emissions, processing enterprises – 35 per cent and the extractive industry – 25 per cent. The main pollutants are oxides of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, phenols, formaldehyde, and benzopyrene. Although the volume of emissions of polluting substances has recently decreased, primarily due to the shutdown of many enterprises, in some industrial regions (especially in the Donetsk-Dnipro region) they still significantly exceed the maximum permissible standards.
Air pollution from motor vehicles accounts for more than a third of all emissions of pollutants in Ukraine, and in some cities more than half. More than 65 per cent of lead, 54 per cent of carbon monoxide, 32 per cent of hydrocarbons, and 24 per cent of nitrogen oxides from the country's total amount of these substances enter the atmosphere due to the operation of motor vehicles.
PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution): the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen by the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.
PM2.5 are very small particles usually found in smoke. They have a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller. Breathing in PM2.5 particles can affect your health. PM2.5 particles are small enough to breathe them deeply into the lungs. Sometimes particles can enter the bloodstream. People who are sensitive to air pollution might experience symptoms when PM2.5 levels are high. This includes people with heart or lung conditions. Symptoms can include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and often difficulty in breathing.
Common sources of PM2.5 particles include smoke from fires and wood heaters, car and truck exhausts and industry.