|1||Sakhnin, Northern District|
|2||Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv|
|3||Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Haifa|
|4||Jaffa, Tel Aviv|
|5||Nazareth, Northern District|
|6||Netanya, Central District|
|8||Gan Raveh, Central District|
|9||Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 53* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Haifa is currently 2.6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
|Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
Moderate 53 US AQI
|Tuesday, Aug 16|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Wednesday, Aug 17|
Good 31 US AQI
|Thursday, Aug 18|
Good 42 US AQI
|Friday, Aug 19|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Saturday, Aug 20|
Moderate 58 US AQI
|Sunday, Aug 21|
Moderate 58 US AQI
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Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel behind Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. According to a census conducted in 2019, Haifa has an estimated population of approximately 285,000 residents. If the metropolitan area is taken into account, then this number jumps up to exceed 1 million people. It is located on the slopes of Mount Carmel and is also a Mediterranean seaport. Haifa Bay is a centre of heavy industry, petroleum refining and chemical processing.
During the fourth quarter of 2021. Haifa was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 73. This United States Air Quality Index reading can be used as a benchmark when comparing other cities around the world. Data is collected with regards to the six most prolific air pollutants commonly found and this figure is calculated from there. If information is not available for all six, then a figure can be deduced using the information that is available. In the case of Haifa, all six pollutants were recorded. These were: PM2.5 - 0.5 µg/m³, PM10 - 8.3 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 177.8 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 3.3 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 2.1 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 343.5 µg/m³. The level PM2.5 figure is within the recommended target figure suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of 10 µg/m³. However, no amount of air pollution is safe but 10 µg/m³ or less is regarded as being acceptable.
With levels such as these, the advice would be to stay indoors and close the doors and windows to prevent more polluted air from entering the rooms. Those who are sensitive to poorer air quality should take extra care and limit their exposure when outdoors. There is an app available from AirVisual which can be found in any app store and is suitable for most mobile devices. This will tell you of the latest levels of pollution which might help decide whether or not to go outside.
Looking back at the 2020 figures published by IQAir.com, it can be seen that the air quality in Haifa did not vary from the “Moderate” category with monthly figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The month with the best quality air was January with a recorded figure of 12.7 µg/m³. The month with the worst air was December with a reading of 18.9 µg/m³.
Historically, records for air pollution have been kept in Haifa since 2017 when the recorded figure was 16.3 µg/m³. A similar figure was recorded for the following year which was 16.7 µg/m³. Air quality deteriorated in 2019 when the figures was 18.0 µg/m³. A marked improvement was noted in 2020 when the figure was 16.2 µg/m³. However, this figure might not be a true reflection of reality because of the restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many vehicles were no longer in daily use as their drivers were encouraged to stay at home to work and not commute to the office on a daily basis. Several small factories and production units were also closed temporarily so their emissions were halted also.
Air pollution in Haifa Bay is the product of a number of factories that operate in a small area, and produce air pollution in high and unusual concentrations in terms of the quantities and types of toxins emitted into the air, as well as pollution from transportation. In almost all types of pollutants, air pollution in Haifa is among the highest in Israel.
Environmental organisations, activists and doctors claim that this pollution is responsible for higher morbidity and mortality rates in the Haifa Bay area compared to other places in the country in a number of diseases such as asthma, several cancers, heart disease, and damage to foetuses and children in the area.
Over the years, there has been a decrease in the emission of various pollutants in the air due to technological changes in factories as well as due to the decrease in pollution from transportation due to changes in fuels and engines.
In September 2015, the Israeli government announced that the Haifa area had unusual air pollution and excess morbidity data. They launched a clean-up program. The program measures included teams to advance plans to change industrial facilities, convert various facilities and vehicles to natural gas, restrict traffic and the installation of filters on polluting diesel vehicles, the promotion of electric taxis, reduction of pollution emitted from ships in the port, expansion of the monitoring system, promotion of an epidemiological research program, reduction of the risk of hazardous material storage and increased transparency.
In September 2016, the Haifa Municipality decided to ban the entry of diesel-powered vehicles that have been defined as pollutants into residential neighbourhoods in the city since 2017.
Air pollutants cause various health and environmental effects depending on the specific pollutant, its concentration, duration of exposure, interaction with other pollutants and the physical condition and sensitivity of the exposed person. Exposure is mainly respiratory and therefore the respiratory system is the one that suffers the most.
In general, diseases associated with air pollution are more harmful to patients, the elderly and children. In these, the immune system is weaker. Children are also more likely to develop lung and respiratory infections than adults because of the large volume of air they breathe and their presence in the open air for longer hours.
Nitrogen oxides increase the risk of respiratory diseases, contribute to acid rain, the greenhouse effect and are among the main components responsible for the formation of photochemical air pollution. In Israel, about 52 per cent of nitrogen oxide emissions come from transportation. Of all the nitrogen oxides, nitrogen dioxide is problematic from a health and environmental point of view. It is responsible for the heat cloud in the skies of dense urban areas, a cloud that has become one of the hallmarks of many modern cities. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide can cause a decrease in lung function, especially in patients with respiratory diseases. Prolonged exposure to nitrogen dioxide could increase the risk of respiratory infection in children.