Air quality in Bitola

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

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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Weather

What is the current weather in Bitola?

Weather icon
WeatherClear sky
Temperature66.2°C
Humidity60%
Wind3.1 mp/h
Pressure1016 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time North Macedonia city ranking

Tooltip icon
#cityUS AQI
1 Mavrovo and Rostuse, Polog

110

2 Kumanovo, Northeastern

103

3 Tetovo, Polog

93

4 Gjorce Petro, Opstina Gjorce Petrov

92

5 Gostivar, Gostivar

84

6 Skopje, Skopje

84

7 Bitola, Pelagonia

82

8 Kocani, Eastern

76

9 Veles, Vardar

76

10 Kavadarci, Vardar

68

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

live Bitola aqi ranking

Real-time Bitola air quality ranking

Tooltip icon
#stationUS AQI
1 Bitola 2 Strezevo

89

2 Bitola 1 UHMR

75

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

US AQI

82

live AQI index
Moderate

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Bitola?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Moderate 82 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
27 µg/m³trend
PM10
55.9 µg/m³trend
O3
20 µg/m³trend
NO2
18.4 µg/m³trend
SO2
1.5 µg/m³trend
!

PM2.5

x2

PM2.5 concentration in Bitola air is currently 2 times above WHO exposure recommendation

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Bitola?

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

Forecast

Bitola air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Sunday, Jun 20

Moderate 57 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Monday, Jun 21

Moderate 68 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Tuesday, Jun 22

Moderate 81 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Today

Moderate 84 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon95°66.2°
Wind rotating 329 degree

4.5 mp/h

Thursday, Jun 24

Moderate 65 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon96.8°69.8°
Wind rotating 282 degree

13.4 mp/h

Friday, Jun 25

Moderate 90 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon96.8°68°
Wind rotating 265 degree

11.2 mp/h

Saturday, Jun 26

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 107 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon91.4°66.2°
Wind rotating 270 degree

11.2 mp/h

Sunday, Jun 27

Moderate 77 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon89.6°60.8°
Wind rotating 273 degree

4.5 mp/h

Monday, Jun 28

Moderate 70 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°64.4°
Wind rotating 273 degree

8.9 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Bitola

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Bitola

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Bitola

What is the current level of air pollution in Bitola?

Bitola is a city in the south western part of North Macedonia. It is surrounded by the Baba, Nidže and Kajmakčalan mountains and is in the southern part of the Pelargonia Valley. According to a census which was conducted in 2002. Bitola had an estimated population of approximately 75,000 people.

Towards the middle of 2021, Bitola was experiencing a period of “Moderate” quality air with a US AQI reading of 57. This United States Air Quality Index is a globally recognised system that allows the comparison of air quality between different locations using the same metrics to get a true idea. Usually, data is collected about the six most common air pollutants and this US AQI number is calculated from there. However, if figures for all six are not available, the number can still be calculated using what figures there are. When the calculations were made for Bitola, there were five recordings available which were as follows: PM2.5 - 15.1 µg/m³, PM10 - 30.4 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 60.9 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 10.7 µg/m³ and sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 2.5 µg/m³.

With levels such as these, the advice is to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those of a sensitive disposition are advised to remain indoors or if travel outside is unavoidable, then a good quality mask is recommended. The table published at the top of this page will help with the decision.

When is the best time of year to enjoy clean air in Bitola?

According to the figures published in 2020, the best time of year for air quality is during the month of June when Bitola achieved the WHO target figure of less than 10 µg/m³. The figure recorded was 8 µg/m³. The previous month of May saw a “Good” figure of 11.7 µg/m³. Other than that, March and April, December and the months of July through until the end of October resulted in “Moderate” quality air with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The two worst months were February and November when the air quality hit the “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” classification with figures of 45.2 and 42 µg/m³, respectively.

There were no records kept before 2020 when the average mean figure was recorded as being 25.9 µg/m³. However, this figure may be artificially low because of the restrictions put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the sources of all this polluted air in Bitola?

Bitola is an industrial city, located close to the Greek border. Bitola 1 station is located in the outskirts of the city with nearby minor industries like the production of food and beverages. The major air pollutant source in Bitola is the REK Bitola power plant located 13 km east of the Bitola 1 station. Measured components are: ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and PM10. This thermal power plant emits about 2,700 tons of PM2.5 particles in the air per year, making it the second largest in Europe, just behind the Kosovo A thermal power plant near Pristina. REK Bitola is at the top of Europe according to the emission of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide with about 67,000 tons per year.

Coal-fired power plants release thousands of tons of harmful substances into the air each year. There are as many as seven out of 10 such thermal power plants in the Western Balkans region, which are estimated to be the biggest air pollutants in Europe.

On paper, in the country, electricity is relatively cheap. However, the production of such cheap electricity comes at a more expensive price, the one that is measured in the number of lives lost and the number of patients.

Can anything be done to lower pollution levels in Bitola?

It has been suggested that in the EU by 2040 the production of electricity from coal should be completely excluded. The same recommendation applies to the Balkan countries.

In March last year, the Government announced a tender for procurement and installation of new electrostatic precipitators in REK Bitola. The investment is estimated at 20.4m euros. Existing electrostatic precipitators were made in 1979 and reconstructed and modernised after 1989.

With this modernisation of the whole system, from the existing standards which are 100 milligrams per normal cubic meter of dust emissions will be reduced by less than 20 milligrams per cubic meter which is a European standard and will contribute to much greater environmental protection.

With this thorough reconstruction of the system of electrostatic precipitators, with proper treatment of the ash coming from the production, with the spraying of those fields, with the application of quality excavation and transport of coal and everything that means meeting environmental standards.

What detrimental effects does the polluted air in Bitola have on human health?

Air pollution exposure is related to numerous effects on the human health including impairments to the lungs, the heart, blood vessels and the nervous system. Health effects can vary from person to person. High risk groups, such as seniors, young children, pregnant women and those suffering from chronic heart and lung diseases are more sensitive to air pollution. Children especially have a higher risk of exposure, due to their out-of-home activities, and the still developing lungs. Air pollution exposure can cause acute and chronic health effects. The acute effects usually occur immediately and are often reversible once the pollution exposure ends.

Chronic effects usually do not occur immediately and are not often reversible once the exposure to the pollutant has ended. Some of the chronic effects are reduced lung capacity and lung cancer, as a result of the long-term exposure to toxic air pollutants. The scientific techniques to assess health effects of air pollution include air pollution monitoring, exposure assessment, dosimetry, toxicology and epidemiology.

Although, in humans, the pollutants may affect the skin, eyes and other systems, they mainly affect the respiratory system. Air is inhaled through the nose, which acts as a primary filtering system. Small hairs and the warm, humid environment in the nose effectively remove larger pollutant particles. The air passes through the larynx, oesophagus and pharynx before reaching the entrance of the trachea. The trachea is divided into two parts, left and right bronchus. Each bronchus is divided into smaller component parts. The smallest of them are called bronchioles and contain millions of air sacs called alveolus. Bronchi and alveoli jointly create the lungs.

Bitola air quality data sources

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