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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 91 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Miskolc is currently 6.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Sunday, Feb 25
Moderate 65 AQI US
|Monday, Feb 26
Moderate 86 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Moderate 90 AQI US
Moderate 91 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Moderate 62 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 66 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 67 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Moderate 57 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Moderate 58 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 59 AQI US
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Miskolc is a city in north eastern Hungary, known for its heavy industry. A census conducted in 2014 estimated the population to be approximately 161,265 people which ranked it as the fourth largest city in Hungary. It is also the county capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and the regional centre of Northern Hungary.
In the third quarter of 2021, Miskolc was enjoying a period of “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of 36. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated by collating the recorded levels of six of the most prolific air pollutants. These could include, both diameters of PM (PM10, PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide. If figures are not available for all six, a level can still be calculated by using what information there is. It is then be used as a metric when comparing one city with another, anywhere in the world. In Miskolc, there were five pollutants recorded which were; PM2.5 - 8.7 µg/m³, PM10 - 13 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 17.6 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 7.3 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 514.5 µg/m³. It can be seen that the level of PM2.5 is below the target figure as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Although no amount of air pollution should be considered as safe, no matter how low it is.
With levels such as these, all doors and windows can be opened to allow a flow of clean air into the rooms and all forms of outdoor activities can be enjoyed without fear. There is an app that is available for download from AirVisual which will give you the real air quality in real-time.
Air quality can be affected by many variables, therefore it can and does change often. Both meteorological conditions and local topography play an important role.
Looking back at the figures for 2020 published by IQAir.com, it can be seen that January provided the worst air quality when the classification placed it as “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a recorded figure of 46 µg/m³. Any figure between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³ is classified as such. The months of February, March and April, together with September, October, November and December returned figures from the “Moderate” category with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The air was “Good” for May, July and August with readings between 10 and 12 µg/m³. For the twelfth month of the year, June, the air quality was within the WHO target figure. The recorded figure was 9.9 µg/m³ so only just qualified.
Historically, records were first kept in 2018 when a figure of 24.4 µg/m³ was recorded. The following year of 2019 saw an improvement with an annual average figure of 21.9 µg/m³. 2020 saw another slight improvement with a figure of 21.0 µg/m³ but this could be affected by the COVID -19 situation as many vehicles were no longer in daily use as staff were 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.
The Sajó Valley is one of the most polluted areas in Hungary and even in Europe. Concentrations of fine particles are well above EU limit values, which would require an air quality plan with effective, enforceable measures and short deadlines to reduce pollution. The current plan does not meet these requirements, so the Air Task Force, the Green Contact Association and an individual approached the environmental authority to request an extraordinary review of the air quality plan.
Due to the calm, quiet weather, the concentration of airborne dust has increased, and in many places the air quality is poor. The anticyclone that dominates the area results in calm, quiet weather, and due to the weak air movement, the concentration of atmospheric pollutants, such as particulate matter, is increasing again.
Aerosol particles are liquid or solid particles in the air that range in size from 0.001 to 100 micrometres. Their health effects are related to their particle size. Larger particles visible to the naked eye are trapped in the nasal cavity and do not reach the lungs, but particles in the PM10 and PM2.5 size fractions can get through.
Atmospheric residence of larger diameter particles is shorter due to faster deposition, so it is mainly the larger particles that form the deposited dust on different surfaces of our interiors.
The most important sources of outdoor air pollution include improper residential firing, garden waste, and incineration. The contribution of transport and agriculture is also noteworthy. Contrary to popular belief, industry is not one of the most significant air pollution sectors in today's Hungary.
The University of Miskolc, the Local Government of the City of Miskolc and MIKOM participate jointly in the HungAIRy LIFE integrated project (IP) “Improving air quality in 8 regions by facilitating the implementation of air quality plans”. in the project. An important element of this is the establishment of the Miskolc host dust monitoring network, the installation of which started on 17th February 2021 after 2 years of preparation.
When the temperatures start to drop, air pollution from residential fires will come to the fore again. Changing current heating habits is essential to improve air quality, as demonstrated by the pilot population questionnaire survey of the HungAIRy LIFE integrated project based on preliminary results.
Avoiding the incineration of prohibited or improper residential heating methods (i.e. treated with varnishes, paints, glued or wet wood, lignite, plastics, clothing, tyres, household waste) could significantly improve air quality during the heating period. District heating, natural gas heating and renewable energy sources are among the most favourable heating methods.
Due to air pollution, air is considered dangerous in six settlements in northern Hungary. In three major cities, in addition to particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide from the combustion products of vehicle fuels is also a problem.
Particulate matter (PM10) contains particles from soil erosion as well as road wear and industrial activity. Short-term increases in particulate matter concentrations irritate mucous membranes and may cause coughing and dyspnoea. Absorbed in the lungs, it can trigger an inflammatory process, resulting in increased blood clotting. Many people see a doctor for asthma and chronic bronchitis, as well as cardiovascular disease. Dust particles smaller than 10 microns enter the lung bladders. Contaminants cause inflammation and can provoke an asthma attack. They can cause both acute and chronic respiratory diseases (e.g. chronic bronchitis) and increase difficulty breathing. The resistance of the mucosa to pathogens and allergens decreases.