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|Falconara Marittima, The Marches
|Bolzano-Bozen, Trentino-Alto Adige
|Pignataro Maggiore, Campania
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 25 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Padova is currently 1.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Saturday, Feb 24
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Sunday, Feb 25
Good 40 AQI US
|Monday, Feb 26
Moderate 59 AQI US
Good 25 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Moderate 53 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Moderate 65 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 63 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Good 43 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Good 21 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Good 28 AQI US
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Padova is a city that has come in with some high readings of air pollution in the past, making it hazardous during certain times of the year. Although there are many months on record that show more appreciable readings of PM2.5 (particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter), they are offset by other months whereby the pollution levels spike massively, causing health hazards for all members of the population, with vulnerable groups such as young children or the elderly being particularly at risk.
To observe some of the better readings of air quality present in Padova, the readings present in mid-2021 can be shown. Despite being in the top fifty most polluted cities in Europe as of 2020, Padova still has times in which this improved air quality indicates an absence of smoke, haze, smog and dangerous particulate matter, making the air considerably safer to breathe for its inhabitants. Looking at the US AQI readings taken at the end of May in 2021, it can be seen that Padova came in with a reading of just 38, placing it in the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket.
This ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 0 to 50 to be classified as such, and is color coded as green, for ease of use and navigation when referring to the air quality maps and graphs present throughout the IQAir website. As mentioned before, whilst Padova displayed some severe levels of PM2.5, with numbers from 2020 being discussed in the following questions, the mid-months of the year provide a much better level of air quality, before the city starts its descent back into higher pollution levels, with these high levels all being caused by a multitude of reasons coming together to compound each other.
US AQI is itself a unit aggregated from the volumes of various pollutants found in the air. It typically draws on ones such as ozone (O3), a secondary pollutant that is formed when the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx) as well as many other gases or chemicals are exposed to solar radiation, thus converting into ozone, or smog as it is more commonly known (often seen blanketing cities during the hotter and sunnier months of the year).
Others include nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), both of which see a large amount of release from vehicle engines, as well as industrial sites or factories. Lastly, the two types of fine particles, ultrafine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) are also used in the calculation of the overall US AQI level, although of note is that PM2.5 is a very prominent measure of air pollution when taken on its own, due to it being known as one of the more, if not the deadliest forms of air pollution. As such, yearly and monthly average from times past are often displayed with a PM2.5 figure.
Whilst the end of May in 2021 presented with a good US AQI reading, in 2020, Padova came in with a yearly PM2.5 average of 28.5 μg/m³. This placed it into the ‘moderate’ air pollution ratings bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. This reading placed Padova in 25th place out of all cities ranked in Europe over 2020, as well as in 439th place out of all cities ranked worldwide in the same year, indicating that it could do much to improve its overall air quality.
Many cities throughout Italy have some significant pollutive issues, often coming up as the center of attention due to lack of stringent rules and regulations being put into place regarding emissions standards throughout the country. This has led to some poor levels of air quality, with Italian cities coming in amongst the top most polluted cities in Europe on many occasions, as is demonstrated by Padova’s high placing in the previous question.
In order to reach such high levels of air pollution, particularly during certain months of the year, the numerous causes that subject Padova to these heightened levels include ones such as emissions from cars and motorbikes, which was also touched on briefly. Besides these smaller vehicles, larger freight ones such as lorries and trucks (classed as heavy duty vehicles, due to their great size and weight) also add to the pollution issue, with a majority of them running on diesel fuel and thus putting out greater amounts of chemical pollutants and hazardous particles than their smaller counterparts would do.
Other causes include emissions from factories and power plants, more noticeable in the winter months due to the higher demand placed on these plants to provide energy to heat both homes and businesses during colder time periods. Other causes of pollution include construction sites, road repairs, and any general activity that either has large disturbance of earth or a source of combustion taking place.
Observing the PM2.5 count taken over the course of 2020, it can be seen that Padova had several months that were distinctly higher in the pollution count, coming in with some rather severe elevations. The months of January and February, as well as November and December all had the highest readings of PM2.5, along with March and April, as well as October having ‘moderate’ readings of pollution but on the higher end of the scale.
For the first and last two months of the year, their respective readings were 70.7 μg/m³, 45.5 μg/m³, 40 μg/m³ and 37.3 μg/m³, making January the most polluted month of the year by a significant amount with its reading of 70.7 μg/m³.
The months of May through to July all had the best levels of air quality in Padova, coming in with PM2.5 readings of 11.3 μg/m³, 12 μg/m³ and 12 μg/m³ again respectively, making May the cleanest month of the year, and all three of them sitting within the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket (10 to 12 μg/m³ required on the PM2.5 ratings scale, which requires a different unit of entry when compared to the US AQI level).
Health effects that may appear during bouts of high pollution would be ones such as coughing and chest pain, along with repeated respiratory infections. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may present itself, along with more serious health issues such as higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, ischemic heart disease and even death.