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|9||Hamburg City, Hamburg|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
12:30, Dec 1
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 54* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Oberhausen is currently 2.7 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Moderate 54 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 2|
Moderate 56 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 3|
Moderate 57 AQI US
|Monday, Dec 4|
Good 47 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 5|
Good 50 AQI US
|Wednesday, Dec 6|
Moderate 58 AQI US
|Thursday, Dec 7|
Good 44 AQI US
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Oberhausen is a city on the river Emscher in the Ruhr Area of Germany. It is found between Duisburg and Essen. According to a census conducted at the end of 2020, Oberhausen was estimated to have an approximate population of 210,000 people.
At the beginning of 2020, Oberhausen was going through a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 63. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is used to compare the air quality in different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, which are PM2.5 and PM10. If all six figures are not always available in which case, a level is calculated by using what data there is. In Oberhausen there were three pollutants which were recorded which were PM2.5 - 18 µg/m³, PM10 - 27 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 15 µg/m³.
This level of PM2.5 is almost twice 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 air pollution is classified as being “Moderate” the given advice would be to remain indoors as much as possible, closing doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are more sensitive to poor quality air should avoid venturing outside until it improves. If this is unavoidable, then a good quality face mask should be worn at all times. All types of outdoor exercise should be avoided until the air quality improves. There is a downloadable app from AirVisual.com which is suitable for all operating systems and gives the latest information regarding air quality in real-time.
Air quality can be very volatile as it can easily be affected by many things. Looking back at the figures published by IQAir.com for 2020, it can be seen that during the month of October, the air quality was classified as being “Good” with a figure of 11.7 µg/m³. For the remaining eleven months, the air quality was “Moderate” with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The month with the dirtiest air out of these months was January with a reading of 19 µg/m³.
Historically, there were no records kept regarding air quality before 2020 when a figure of 14.3 µg/m³ was noted. This figure was almost expected because it would have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many vehicles were no longer in daily use because the offices were closed and the staff encouraged to work from home, 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. Worldwide, cities reported a much better quality of air due to the general lack of traffic pollution in city centres due to the pandemic.
Particulate matter: cars without particle filters and wood-fired heaters blow increased amounts of it into the air. These include substances that cause cancer and can penetrate deep into the lungs when inhaled.
There are four main types of air pollution sources:
Burning fossil fuels releases gases and chemicals into the air and in an especially destructive feedback loop, air pollution not only contributes to climate change but is also exacerbated by it. Air pollution in the form of carbon dioxide and methane raises the earth’s temperature.
Smog (sometimes referred to as ground-level ozone) occurs when emissions from combusting fossil fuels react with sunlight. Soot (also known as particulate matter) is made up of tiny particles of chemicals, soil, smoke, dust, or allergens—in the form of either gas or solids—that are carried in the air. The sources of smog and soot are similar. Both come from cars and trucks, factories, power plants, incinerators, engines, generally anything that combusts fossil fuels such as coal, gas or natural gas.
Driving bans for diesel vehicles with emissions standards worse than Euro 6 and motor vehicles with petrol engines below the Euro 3 emissions standard should be introduced if it was “the only suitable measure for the fastest possible compliance with the nitrogen dioxide limit values".
The transport of goods in Germany is often still carried out with climate-damaging diesel locomotives. This is to change in the future: old diesel locomotives are to be replaced with more environmentally friendly ones.
Initiatives could include relocating industrial facilities, modernising household stoves and boilers, using cleaner fuels for heating, switching to cleaner buses and trams, and introducing low-emission transport zones.
There is basically no threshold above which an air pollutant is harmless. Today, more than 100 specialist societies around the world are commenting on the new guidelines from the World Health Organisation. The WHO has now halved its reference value for finer dust with particle diameters of up to 2.5 microns. The annual value for fine particulate matter in Europe is currently still 25 micrograms per cubic meter. And now these guidelines say very clearly: That should be around 5. And we are miles away from that in Europe with 25 micrograms per cubic meter.
Even in very low concentrations, nitrogen dioxide can trigger inflammation in the body: This, in turn, leads to the fine balance between blood clotting and the dissolution of blood clots being disturbed and, for example, strokes and heart attacks being observed more frequently.