|6||Oriyakovica, Veliko Tarnovo|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 45 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Varna is currently 2.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Thursday, Dec 1|
Good 26 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 2|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 3|
Moderate 56 US AQI
Good 45 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 5|
Good 25 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 6|
Good 22 US AQI
|Wednesday, Dec 7|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 8|
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 9|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 116 US AQI
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Varna is the third-largest city in Bulgaria and the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. Due to its location on the Gulf of Varna the city became an important seaport and transportation hub. According to a census conducted in 2017, Varna had an estimated population of approximately 336,500 people in the city and 418,108 in the entire urban area.
Looking at the figures published by IQAir.com, it can be seen that Varna was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality at the beginning of 2022 with a US AQI reading of 69. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is used to compare the air quality in different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, which are PM2.5 and PM10. If all six figures are not always available in which case, a level is calculated by using what data there is. For Varna, there were five major pollutants measured which were as follows; PM2.5 - 20.6 µg/m³, PM10 - 36.1 µg/m³, - ozone (O3) - 10.3 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 44.8 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 0.4 µg/m³.
This level of PM2.5 is just over twice the recommended safe level of 10 µg/m³ as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being an acceptable level. Although no amount of air pollution is considered to be safe.
When air pollution is classified as being “Moderate” the given advice would be to remain indoors as much as possible, closing doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are more sensitive to poor quality air should avoid venturing outside until it improves. If this is unavoidable, then a good quality face mask should be worn at all times. All types of outdoor exercise should be avoided until the air quality improves. There is a downloadable app from AirVisual.com which is suitable for all operating systems and gives the latest information regarding air quality in real-time.
Air quality can be affected by many things, therefore it can and does change rapidly depending on the local conditions. Looking back at the 2020 figures published by IQAir.com, it can be seen that during the months of August and September Varna achieved the WHO target figure of 10 µg/m³ or less. The respective figures were 8.0 and 9.9 µg/m³. The months of May and July provided “Good” quality air with figures between 10.1 and 12.0 µg/m³. For the remaining eight months, the air quality was from the “Moderate” group with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The dirtiest month was January with a monthly average of 29.0 µg/m³. These figures are quoted in microns per cubic metre.
Records for air quality were first kept in 2017 when the noted figure was 12.0 µg/m³. This worsened the following year to 16.8 µg/m³ and again in 2019 to 21.8 µg/m³. However, in 2020 the figure was 14.9 µg/m³ but this lower figure was almost expected because it would have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many vehicles were no longer in daily use because the offices were closed and the staff encouraged to work from home, in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. Many factories and non-essential production units were also required to close which removed their emissions from the atmosphere, albeit on a temporary basis. Worldwide, cities reported a much better quality of air due to the general lack of traffic pollution in city centres due to the pandemic.
The main air pollutants in Varna are from domestic and transport sources. It is estimated that the combustion of solid fuels for household heating emits 43.4 per cent of the total PM10. The share of road transport in the formation of emissions is 42.8 per cent, which makes it the second most important source of pollution.
The concentration of fine dust particles in the air of Varna was expected to decrease by the end of 2021. This was stated in the report on the implementation of the updated "Program to reduce emissions and reach the approved standards for harmful substances in the air of Varna" for 2020 which was included in the agenda of a meeting of the Committee on "Protection and Reproduction of the Environment" at the local parliament. The document was not adopted by the members of the commission, but will be proposed for consideration by the Municipal Council.
Based on the analyses, it is planned to reduce the annual emission of fine particulate matter (PM10) by about 143 tons compared to the base year 2017. The forecasts are for a reduction of PM10 from domestic heating by 11 per cent and from transport - by 10 per cent.
In recent years, the Municipality of Varna has pursued a consistent policy to improve air quality. Part of it is the renovation of the road network and the maintenance of the technical infrastructure, the sidewalks and the adjacent areas in good condition. It is estimated that this has a positive effect on reducing the average level of pollution with fine dust particles emitted by transport.
Another measure is to limit the number of cars in the central part of the city by expanding the Blue Zone. Charging stations for electric cars have been installed in a number of places, with the aim of stimulating the use of environmentally friendly vehicles.
Air pollution is an extremely serious health problem that affects absolutely everyone. Thousands of Bulgarians die premature deaths from diseases caused by dirty air, and many others remain permanently disabled. Even more worrying is that pollution has the most negative impact on already vulnerable groups of children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases.
The damage caused by dirty air covers a wide range of different diseases - different types of cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, multi-organ damage. A number of studies have found a link between pollution and damage to the reproductive system, as well as between pollution and premature births, abortions or births with too low a weight of the baby. No person is affected directly or indirectly by the effects of pollution.