Air quality in Berlin

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Berlin

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Weather

What is the current weather in Berlin?

Weather icon
WeatherClear sky
Temperature59°C
Humidity92%
Wind2 mp/h
Pressure1016 mb
Air pollution has cost an estimated3,300 deaths*in Berlin in 2021LEARN MORE*Air pollution also cost approximately $5,000,000,000 USD in Berlin in 2021.

live aqi city ranking

Real-time Germany city ranking

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#cityUS AQI
1 Meppen, Lower Saxony

94

2 Hamburg, Hamburg

86

3 Meiderich, Nordrhein-Westfalen

82

4 Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz

72

5 Tiergarten Bezirk, Berlin

71

6 Oberried, Baden-Wuerttemberg

68

7 Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

68

8 Worms, Rheinland-Pfalz

68

9 Dresden, Saxony

67

10 Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz

65

(local time)

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live Berlin aqi ranking

Real-time Berlin air quality ranking

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#stationUS AQI
1 Frankfurter Allee

68

2 Mariendorfer Damm

68

3 Schildhornstr

65

4 Brückenstraße

61

5 Alte Jakobstrasse

57

6 Nansenstraße

57

7 Amrumer Str

55

8 Buch

26

9 Silbersteinstr

25

10 Friedrichshagen

17

(local time)

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US AQI

63

live AQI index
Moderate

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Berlin?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Moderate 63 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
18 µg/m³trend
PM10
25 µg/m³trend
O3
5.5 µg/m³trend
NO2
15 µg/m³trend
!

PM2.5

x1

PM2.5 concentration in Berlin air is currently 1 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Berlin?

An open window iconClose your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air
A man cycling iconSensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise

Forecast

Berlin air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Thursday, Sep 23

Moderate 52 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Friday, Sep 24

Good 39 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Saturday, Sep 25

Moderate 52 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Today

Moderate 63 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon77°59°
Wind rotating 131 degree

8.9 mp/h

Monday, Sep 27

Moderate 57 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon71.6°59°
Wind rotating 135 degree

4.5 mp/h

Tuesday, Sep 28

Good 49 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon62.6°55.4°
Wind rotating 308 degree

8.9 mp/h

Wednesday, Sep 29

Good 28 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon59°51.8°
Wind rotating 252 degree

6.7 mp/h

Thursday, Sep 30

Good 21 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon57.2°44.6°
Wind rotating 240 degree

8.9 mp/h

Friday, Oct 1

Good 29 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon53.6°46.4°
Wind rotating 207 degree

8.9 mp/h

Saturday, Oct 2

Good 37 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon66.2°51.8°
Wind rotating 193 degree

13.4 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Berlin

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Berlin

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Berlin

Which pollutants can be found in the air in Berlin?

The air in Berlin and the surrounding area is polluted by a variety of particulate and gaseous air materials, all of which have a profound negative effect on the health of its citizens. One such pollutant that is particularly harmful to the respiratory tract is PM2.5, referring to particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 or less micrometers. Since the introduction of environmental zones, a significant reduction in the concentration of these fine particles has been seen in Berlin’s air. On occasion, higher numbers have cropped up from time to time over the last few years due to meteorological (relating to the atmosphere and its behavior) conditions. These meteorological phenomena include long-distance atmospheric transport, the heating trends of the city's inhabitants, as well as the varying changes in weather conditions such as rainfall and windspeed.

In addition to the fine particulate matter PM2.5, its larger counterpart, PM10 is also emitted from open burning sources, as well as other industrial or human related activities such as construction sites. The average yearly count of said particulate matter has been observed over the last 16 years, with the measurements of PM10 showing prominent fluctuations from year to year. These irregularities once again can also depend on the previously mentioned meteorological conditions.

Other pollutants emitting from diesel and gasoline-based vehicles are ones such as the various nitrogen oxides (NOx). In particular, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) appears as one of the most common pollutants found in the atmosphere. Whilst his pollutant generally does not exceed the average guideline numbers, it can be observed that on busy roads and other areas that see high volumes of traffic, the value is often exceeded due to high concentrations of cars and other vehicles, which are main offenders in the emission of nitrogen dioxide.

What is the air quality like in Berlin?

The air quality in Berlin is generally ranked as being "good" according to the Air Quality Index (AQI) ratings. According to the 2019 World Air Quality Report, the average particulate matter level, or PM2.5 for Berlin in 2019 was 9.7 μg/m³. As a result, the average air pollution in Berlin was just within the World Health Organization's (WHO) PM2.5 target bracket of great air quality, requiring a reading between 0 to 10 μg/m³. This means that individuals can conduct day to day outdoor activities in the fresh air in Berlin without having to worry about the negative effects of pollution and haze permeating the atmosphere and therefore being respired.

Berlin's air quality in 2019 was shown to be better than that of Germany as a whole, where an annual PM2.5 average of 11 μg/m³ was recorded in the same year. As a result, Berlin was one of the 36.4% of European cities that fell within then WHO’s target goal for PM2.5 levels, at the aforementioned 9.7 μg/m³. In 2019, according to the IQAir ranking, Berlin was placed 14th among the cleanest capitals worldwide, being edged out only by exceptionally clean capitals such as Copenhagen and Lisbon. In the IQAir ranking, one can also see that Berlin has performed better in the past compared to other German cities, ranking in at 129th place out of all cities in Germany, with 154 cities registered, putting it into the higher echelons of cleanest places to live within the country.

When is pollution at its worst in Berlin?

Taking a closer look at the development of air quality over the period of 2019, one can see that during the colder months the air quality is displayed as "moderate" (12.1 to 34.5 μg/m³ to be classed as such), due to the high level of PM2.5 found in Berlin. The fluctuation of the cities AQI between the colder and warmer months is a number of direct and indirect influences of the weather. Because of the cold, the population tends to rely on indoor heating more, resulting in a higher use of fuels. Traffic also contributes to the formation of winter smog, with factors such as exhaust gases and tire abrasion adding to the particulate matter in the air.

The cold winter air is also denser than the polluted air of the emissions, and as a result, this air is pulled under the polluted, warmer air. This is known as thermal inversion and is primary step in the formation of smog. Of note, pollutants such as ozone and nitrogen dioxide, amongst other forms of microscopic particulate matter, were identified as the primary culprits in the higher levels of smog.

Observing the data recorded over 2019 regarding the most polluted months, the ones that stand out are January and February (13.4 and 16.3 μg/m³ respectively) as well as November coming in with a moderate rating of 17.4 μg/m³, making it the most polluted month out of the year in 2019.

So, to summarize, it Is during the colder months of the year (November through to April in the following year) that have the worst levels of air pollution, with variations occurring due to the previously mentioned meteorological changes.

What are some of the health risks of being exposed to pollution in Berlin?

Various studies have shown that air pollutants can affect the respiratory system in various ways and consequently lead to various diseases. One of these diseases is the triggering of pre-existing bronchial asthma. Asthma symptoms are more common with long-term exposure to particulate matter. Exhaust gases from transport, industry and agriculture also increase the likelihood of respiratory infections, especially at high concentrations of PM2.5 and NO2.

For children that experience both pre and postnatal PM2.5 exposure, it seems to correlate with a higher probability of getting infections in the lungs during their early childhood, which can lead to permanently reduced lung function, stunted growth, mental defects as well as a variety of problems for babies still in the womb (such as low birth weight, miscarriage and birth defects).

The concentration of PM2.5 from exhaust gases associated with lung cancer was also investigated. The results showed an increased mortality risk with lung cancer if there was high PM2.5 air pollution in the environment. These are but a few of the health risks of being exposed to higher particulate matter count, and as such, taking preventative measures and avoiding outdoor activity or wearing high quality particle filtering masks would be of great assistance in reducing the negative health effects of pollution exposure.

What is being done to reduce air pollution in Berlin?

The City of Berlin has taken various measures to improve its air quality over the last few years. In their air pollution control plan, the focus is mainly on measures regarding the transport sector, which is a major source of emissions. The first step of measures is to make a shift within the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) towards higher use of electric vehicles, and in addition to increase the financial support of using said vehicles. Natural gas vehicles are also on the horizon in terms of countrywide environmental promotion.

In order to relieve the burden of individual passenger transport, the city of Berlin plans to increase spending on its public transport sector and make it more attractive to the general population. This is done by introducing various measures, such as the taxing of public vehicles (similar to London’s congestion charge) in certain traffic zones, as well as providing further relief through the expansion of footpath and cycle path infrastructure.

A monetary incentive to use the BVG will be made by increasing parking fees. Additionally, a nationwide expansion of parking management is intended to reduce traffic and thus emission levels, especially on the main roads. Another option to improve air quality in Berlin is the use of appropriate soot and particulate filters in the car in order to reduce the pollutants given off via the exhaust fumes emitted. The use of these particulate filters is prescribed in Berlin for certain vehicle types, particularly ones that emit higher levels of smoke and pollution into the atmosphere. The filtering of these pollutants would be especially helpful in reducing overall pollution levels.

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