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3:55, Sep 28
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 45 US AQI||O3|
PM2.5 concentration in Plzen is currently 1.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Monday, Sep 25|
Good 24 AQI US
|Tuesday, Sep 26|
Good 43 AQI US
|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Good 49 AQI US
Good 45 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 29|
Moderate 53 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 30|
Good 35 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 1|
Good 42 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 2|
Good 50 AQI US
|Tuesday, Oct 3|
Moderate 57 AQI US
|Wednesday, Oct 4|
Moderate 51 AQI US
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Plzeň is a city in the Czech Republic, about 90 kilometres west of Prague in western Bohemia, it is the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic. According to a census conducted in 2021, Plzeň had an estimated population of approximately 175,200 people.
Towards the end of 2021, Plzeň was experiencing a period of air quality that could be classed as being “Moderate” with a US AQI reading of 52. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated using the levels of six of the most commonly occurring 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. For Plzeň, all six pollutants were recorded which were; PM2.5 - 12.5 µg/m³, PM10 - 15 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 45.9 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 11 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 6.3 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 0.3 µg/m³. The figures are quoted in microns per cubic metre.
This level of PM2.5 is slightly in excess of 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 thought of as being safe.
When air pollution is at this elevated level, the given advice would be to remain indoors as much as possible and close all doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are more susceptible to poor quality air should try to avoid venturing outside until the quality improves. If this is unavoidable then a good quality mask should be worn at all times. All groups of people are discouraged from partaking in strenuous exercise, outside. There is a mobile app available from AirVisual.com for most operating systems. This free app informs you of the state of the air in real-time and thus will help you decide what to do or where to go.
Air quality can be very volatile as it can and is affected by many variables. Looking back at figures released for 2020 by IQAir.com, it can easily be seen that the months with the cleanest air were February and from May until the end of September when Plzeň achieved the WHO target figure of less than 10 µg/m³. The cleanest month was February when the figure was 6.4 µg/m³. The month of October returned “Good” air quality with a reading of 10.2 µg/m³. The remaining months of the year returned readings from the “Moderate” category with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. Overall, the worst quality of air was experienced during January when the figure was 21.9 µg/m³.
Records were first kept in 2019 when a recording of 12.6 µg/m³ was noted. This improved in 2020 when that figure was 11.5 µg/m³, which was from the “Good” classification. However, this reading may have been affected by the COVID-19 situation 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.
Current scientific knowledge shows that air pollution with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) can pose a risk to human health even at levels that meet applicable limits. Therefore, in Pilsen and in other 8 regional cities of the Czech Republic, the project of the Centre for Environment and Health tried to map the level of air pollution with nitrogen dioxide. Emissions from traffic seem to indicate a major source of nitrogen dioxide as peaks in the figures are often recorded in the vicinity of congested road junctions. It is also emitted from stationary sources such as power plants and heating plants.
To improve air quality, the city administration is planning to support electromobility or the expansion of paid parking zones, which should motivate people to use public transport.
Recently, a third lane has been added to some city centre streets which are purely for the use of public transport and electric vehicles.
In order to encourage people to use public transport more, a free car park has been created under the main bus terminal for 250 cars. It is hoped drivers will park here for no charge and continue their journey by bus.
It has long been known that polluted air can adversely affect our physical health, for example in the form of lung and heart disease or cancer. But dirty air can also damage our mental health and negatively affect our cognitive abilities.
A representative cross-sectional study has shown that long-term exposure to air pollution reduces cognitive performance and has a negative effect on test results. The negative impact of air pollution is more pronounced for people over 64, men and the less educated. "Polluted air can reduce a person's level of education by one year, which is a lot.
Babies born to mothers living in polluted areas have lower IQs. The research looked at the effect of toxic microparticles in the air on the unborn foetus. It has been shown that pollutants present in the air adversely affect the development of the child's brain in the prenatal stage. Particles contained in a polluted environment are able to penetrate the placenta and cause direct damage to the child's brain, or affect the proper functioning of the placenta. On average, children born to mothers who were in such an environment during pregnancy had a 2.5 points lower IQ than others. In extreme cases, the researchers also noticed a difference of almost 7 points in the IQ value.