live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 25 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Nicosia is currently 1.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Sunday, Sep 25|
Good 40 US AQI
|Monday, Sep 26|
Good 36 US AQI
|Tuesday, Sep 27|
Good 40 US AQI
|Wednesday, Sep 28|
Good 36 US AQI
Good 25 US AQI
|Friday, Sep 30|
Good 40 US AQI
|Saturday, Oct 1|
Good 30 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 2|
Good 35 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 3|
Good 43 US AQI
|Tuesday, Oct 4|
Moderate 51 US AQI
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Nicosia is the largest city, capital, and seat of government of Cyprus. It can be found on the banks of the River Pedieos towards the centre of the Mesaoria plain. According to a 2016 census the population of Nicosia was split into two parts as it is a divided city. The northern section had an estimated population of 61,378 people, whilst the southern part was estimated to have 55,000 residents living there.
Towards the end of 2021, Nicosia was enjoying a period of “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of 25. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated using the levels of six of the most prolific air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, which are PM2.5 and PM10. It can then be used as the metric when comparing air quality in other cities around the world. If data is unavailable for all 6 pollutants, a figure can still be calculated by using what figures there are. Only PM2.5 was measured in Nicosia which was 6 µg/m³.
This level of PM2.5 is within 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 the level of air pollution is classified as being “Good” doors and windows can safely be opened to allow a flow of clean, fresh air to enter the rooms. All types of outdoor activity can also be enjoyed without fear of air pollution.
Air quality can be very volatile as it can be affected by many variables. Looking back at the figure for 2020, released by IQAir.com, it can easily be seen that for the months of April and June the air quality was very “Good” with respective levels of 11.7 and 10.2 µg/m³. For the remaining ten months of the year, the air quality was classified as “Moderate” with figures between12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The months with the cleanest air were March and May with figures for both months of 13.2 µg/m³. The worst month for clean air was December with a reading of 20.0 µg/m³.
Historically, records regarding air pollution were first noted in 2017 when a figure of 17.9 µg/m³ was recorded. A similar figure was seen the following year with a 17.4 µg/m³ level. The level deteriorated in 2019 to 19.2 µg/m³. The latest recorded figure is from 2020 which was 15.5 µg/m³, however, this reading may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many vehicles were no longer in daily use because the offices were closed, 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.
Air pollution harms human health and the environment. In Europe, emissions of many air pollutants have been significantly reduced in recent decades, resulting in improved air quality in the region. However, concentrations of air pollutants remain too high and air quality problems persist. A significant proportion of the European population lives in areas, especially in cities, where air quality standards are exceeded: ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) pose a serious health risk.
Particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and tropospheric ozone are now generally recognised as the three most important pollutants in terms of health effects. Long-term and acute exposure to these pollutants can have varying degrees of health effects, from respiratory failure to premature death. About 90 per cent of Europe's urban population is exposed to concentrations of pollutants in excess of air quality that are considered harmful to human health. For example, fine-grained particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air has been estimated to reduce life expectancy in the EU by more than eight months. Benzo-a-pyrene is a carcinogenic pollutant of increasing concern and, in some urban areas, particularly in both central and southern Europe.
In Cyprus, there are frequent episodes of dust transfer from the arid and partly arid regions (deserts) of North Africa and the Middle East. For this reason, in such cases, announcements are issued to warn the public and especially the vulnerable groups of the population (children, the elderly and the sick) as well as for the precaution of the workers who are employed in open spaces.
The development of an integrated strategy to reduce vehicle traffic in city centres will help significantly. Measures that may include the development and improvement of the public transport network that includes incentives for citizens to use these means, the use of cycling or hiking for travel where they can be replaced by car travel, the provision of incentives for replacement of old technology vehicles with new technology cars (electric, hybrid, etc.)
Not all air components are considered pollutants. In general, air pollution is defined as the presence of specific pollutants in the atmosphere, at levels that negatively affect human health, the environment and our cultural heritage (buildings, monuments and materials). Under the legislation, only anthropogenic pollution is considered, although pollution can be more broadly defined in other contexts.
Not all air pollutants come from man-made sources. Many natural phenomena, including volcanic eruptions, forest fires and sandstorms, release pollutants into the atmosphere. Dust particles can travel long distances depending on winds and clouds. Whether anthropogenic or natural, once these elements are found in the atmosphere, they can take part in chemical reactions and contribute to air pollution. Clear skies and high visibility are not necessarily signs of fresh air.
Particulate matter (PM) is the air pollutant that causes the greatest damage to human health in Europe. Think of PMs so light that they can hover in the air. Some of these particles are so small (one-thirtieth to one-fifth the diameter of a human hair) that they not only penetrate deep into our lungs, but also pass into the bloodstream, just like oxygen.