|7||Northeim, Lower Saxony|
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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 43 US AQI||O3|
PM2.5 concentration in Augsburg is currently 1.6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Friday, Aug 12|
Good 36 US AQI
|Saturday, Aug 13|
Good 36 US AQI
|Sunday, Aug 14|
Good 49 US AQI
Good 43 US AQI
|Tuesday, Aug 16|
Good 40 US AQI
|Wednesday, Aug 17|
Good 42 US AQI
|Thursday, Aug 18|
Good 45 US AQI
|Friday, Aug 19|
Good 33 US AQI
|Saturday, Aug 20|
Good 29 US AQI
|Sunday, Aug 21|
Good 31 US AQI
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Instead of the permitted 50 µg/m³, (micrograms per square metre) of recorded PM2.5 particulates, values are currently around twice as high at the four measuring points in the Augsburg city centre area. At 105 and 102 µg/m³ respectively, the values are highest at Königsplatz and Karlsplatz in the city centre. For comparison: In Bad Hindelang in the Allgäu these days there are only 3 µg/m³.
According to the law, exceeding the particulate matter values is allowed for 35 days each year. No violation of this has been recorded in Augsburg since 2012, according to the State Office for the Environment. It was not until New Year's Eve that there was a significant increase in the values in Augsburg. At this time, the weather was to blame and the setting off of fireworks at the end of the old year. In general, fine dust is mainly produced by traffic and is also emitted from domestic wood-burning stoves and heaters.
Towards the end of 2020, the air quality in Augsburg was classified as “Moderate” with a US AQI reading of 57. The main air pollutant was identified as PM2.5 with a concentration of 15 µg/m³. PM10 particulates were measured at 18 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) had a level of 30 µg/m³. Overall the readings fell into the “Good” and “Moderate” categories as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In contrast, Prenzlauer Berg Bezirk in Berlin recorded a US AQI figure of 156 for the same period of time.
As in many other Bavarian cities, the fine dust value in the air is currently higher than the desired level in Augsburg and the nitrogen values are high too. The inversion of the temperatures during the winter season is the cause. There is a cold layer on the ground, covered by warm air masses. This prevents an exchange between the air layers, and polluted air becomes trapped between the different air layers with nowhere to escape. This will change when the wind starts to blow or it rains or snows. This will force the movement of air between the layers and the rain or snow will wash the particles out of the air.
Together with the city of Augsburg and the State Office for the Environment, the government of Swabia has drawn up a clean air plan for Augsburg on behalf of the Ministry for Environment and Health, in accordance with Section 47 of the Federal Emission Control Act. The aim of the plan is to improve air quality.
The clean air for Augsburg plan examines traffic and facility-related measures. An important traffic measure is the introduction and creation of an environment- friendly zone, because studies have shown that road traffic has a decisive influence on fine dust particles PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in city centres.
Air pollution, especially from diesel exhaust gases, remains higher than permitted in many German cities. The EU puts a limit on the value for harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which was exceeded in at least 35 cities in 2018, according to an initial assessment by the Federal Environment Agency. New data is made available to the German Press Agency and it showed that 28 of the 65 cities exceeded the limit in 2017. It also revealed that Stuttgart now had the highest pollution with 71 µg/m³ of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Overall, air pollution from diesel exhaust gases decreased slightly during the past year. The average at traffic-related measuring stations was by approximately 2 µg/m³. The values were high at 45 per cent of these stations in 2017 but slightly reduced to 39 per cent in 2018. The binding limit has been in force since 2010.
According to statistics, the reasons for the decline in urban nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution were speed limits and traffic restrictions, the increase of new cars, software updates for better emission control for older diesel-powered and also the weather.
A large part of the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) present in cities comes from diesel exhaust gases. This prompted the first driving bans in cities. In Hamburg, road sections were closed to older diesels in 2018, in Stuttgart they have been banned from the entire city area since the beginning of the year. Other cities which include Frankfurt, Berlin and Cologne are to introduce similar measures as soon as possible. The German environmental aid has since enforced the restrictions in court.
The Federal Environment Agency receives data from the environmental authorities of the federal states. This data is provided by the measuring stations, which automatically record figures every hour. According to the agency, the values of so-called passive collectors will be added in May, which are still being evaluated. The municipalities also operate their own measuring stations, but these are not relevant for the EU directive on air pollutants.
When measurements for particulate matter PM10 fell for the first time since 2005, the limits were not exceeded in any metropolitan areas in 2018. On 35 days a year, the load can be over 50 µg/m³.
Only one measuring station near Lünen in North Rhine-Westphalia measured higher values for 36 days. As far as the agency is concerned, this is no reason to give the all-clear, because the World Health Organization recommends a value of 20 micrograms per cubic metre.
The concentration of ground-level ozone (O3) increased. In the record-breaking temperatures of summer 2018, according to the agency, the long-term goal of protecting health, namely a maximum of 120 µg/m³. on average over eight hours - was exceeded at all 265 measuring stations, an average of 37 days per station. That was "unusually often", it said.
Ground-level ozone is produced when volatile organic compounds (VOC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) react together under the ultraviolet light, emitted by the sun. The main source of VOCs and oxides of nitrogen is from internal combustion engines. For example those burning fossil fuels in cars, buses, trucks, agricultural machinery and heavy construction equipment.