|1||Basaldella, Friuli Venezia Giulia|
|2||San Paolo, Apulia|
|3||Tolmezzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia|
|4||Urbino, The Marches|
|6||Morsano, Friuli Venezia Giulia|
|7||Arcevia, The Marches|
|8||Torre Caracciolo, Campania|
|9||Jesi, The Marches|
|10||Meano, Trentino-Alto Adige|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 1 US AQI||NO2|
|NO2|| 5.4 µg/m³|
|SO2|| 1.2 µg/m³|
|CO|| 0.1 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Friday, Jun 18|
Moderate 51 US AQI
|Saturday, Jun 19|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Sunday, Jun 20|
Moderate 51 US AQI
|Monday, Jun 21|
Moderate 64 US AQI
Moderate 91 US AQI
|Wednesday, Jun 23|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 110 US AQI
|Thursday, Jun 24|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101 US AQI
|Friday, Jun 25|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 103 US AQI
|Saturday, Jun 26|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 105 US AQI
|Sunday, Jun 27|
Good 47 US AQI
|Monday, Jun 28|
Good 29 US AQI
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Torchiarolo is small commune located in Brindisi, a province found in the Apulia region of Italy, on the ‘heel’ of Italy in terms of its geographical location, namely the south-eastern coast. It is home to a small community of people, with only five and a half thousand inhabitants reported to be living there as of 2017. The main industries and economy are based around that of tourism, as well as the production of olives and grapes.
Despite this small sized population and sleepy outward appearance, Torchiarolo is subject to some rather poor levels of air quality, coming in within the top twenty most polluted cities in Europe as of 2020, and with continuing elevations in pollution mid-way through 2021. To cite some examples, in late May of 2021, Torchiarolo came in with a US AQI reading of 66, color coded as yellow and being placed into the ‘moderate’ air pollution ratings bracket, which requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 51 to 100 to be classified as such.
As per the guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), readings between 0 to 150 are deemed as being ‘acceptable’, although on the higher end of this spectrum many vulnerable or at-risk individuals may start to experience unpleasant side effects or some form of respiratory irritation. With its reading of 66 as taken in late May, Torchiarolo would have an air quality that is safe for the general public, but may cause minor irritation to the aforementioned at-risk individuals.
Those who fall into these groups are people such as young children and babies, both of whom can suffer dire consequences as a result of excessive pollution exposure, with damage to the lungs occurring, as well as alterations to the nervous system resulting in both physical and cognitive defects. Many other conditions such as tumors can appear in the furthest reaches of the body (due to the insidious nature of PM2.5 based pollution, with its incredibly small size of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter allowing it to enter the bloodstream via the lungs).
Other vulnerable groups include pregnant women, along with the elderly and infirm, those with pre-existing health conditions, as well as individuals with a hypersensitivity towards pollution, or compromised immune systems. These groups should take extra care during spells of high pollution, which can be followed via the air quality maps available on the IQAir website, or the AirVisual app.
In closing, Torchiarolo doesn’t present with high levels of air pollution throughout the entire year, typically coming in with US AQI readings similar to the one mentioned above. However, as will be discussed further detail later in the article, there were certain months of the year that saw severe spikes in pollution, with PM2.5 readings going up to levels rarely seen in cities throughout Europe. As such, the nature of air pollution in Torchiarolo is somewhat sporadic, split between much cleaner months and ones with severe air pollution issues.
There are numerous causes of air pollution present in Torchiarolo, with the most severe spikes being caused by a multitude of events such as natural or man-made disasters, poor meteorological conditions (such as lack of cleansing wind or rain) coupled with industrial activity all coming together to give the high levels of air pollution as seen on record.
One of the ambient causes of air pollution would be vehicle fumes, particularly with cars and motorbikes that are of the significantly aged or defunct variety, being used way past their best years. These outdated vehicles can leak large amounts of noxious oil vapors, along with hazardous fine particles and chemical compounds. Others include huge emissions from power plants and factories, an ongoing issue in Italy due to lack of proper emission regulations. The emissions from such industrial sites can be blown over from neighboring towns and cities, causing the PM2.5 level to spike in smaller areas such as Torchiarolo.
Delayed installation of cleaner emission units in many factories in the region has been ongoing, causing many residents to join in protest, with the growing number of severe health conditions amongst vulnerable groups only pressing this issue further.
Some health conditions that would arise from breathing polluted air in Torchiarolo during the months that have the highest levels of PM2.5 (amongst other pollutants, with ones such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) all being present, along with dangerous particles such as silica dust and black carbon) would be ones typically related to the pulmonary and cardiac system.
However, health conditions would not be limited to these areas of the body due to the nature of ultrafine particles and their ability to spread to the furthest reaches of the body upon inhalation. Conditions such as heightened risk of cancer or soft tissue sarcoma would start to appear, along with a number of skin conditions such as acne, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis all presenting themselves.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, heart attacks, strokes and a dramatically increased mortality rate would also make themselves present, stressing the highly damaging effects that pollution can have on the community within Torchiarolo, as well as surrounding cities.
Observing the months on record over 2020, it can be seen that Torchiarolo came in with some severely high readings, as mentioned before. Whilst much of the year had varying levels of ‘moderate’ rated pollution (12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ required for classification as per the PM2.5 ratings bracket), the months of May and July came in with the worst levels, presenting with readings of 161.8 μg/m³ and 48.8 μg/m³.
This reading of 161.8 μg/m³ placed May into the ‘very unhealthy’ ratings bracket (150.5 to 250.4 μg/m³ required), one rarely seen throughout Europe, indicating a level of air quality that would be extremely harmful for all members of the population, with even the healthiest of individuals showing signs of pollution related health problems. The avoidance of outdoor activity, as well as wearing fine particle filtering masks and avoiding exercise or other strenuous activities would be highly advised during such periods of high pollution.
Despite having a month with an extreme elevation in its PM2.5 count, Torchiarolo also came in with several months of 2020 that had considerably cleaner air quality. These months were June, and August through to October, with both June and October coming in within the WHO's target bracket for the best quality of air at 10 μg/m³ or less, with the two months presenting with readings of 6.9 μg/m³ and 7.9 μg/m³.
Of note is that due to the huge spike in PM2.5 seen in May, Torchiarolo was subject to a skewed yearly average over 2020, and was actually showing signs of improving before this year. In 2017, Torchiarolo presented with a yearly average of 19.9 μg/m³, in 2018 with 17.2 μg/m³, 2019 with 13.8 μg/m³, followed by 29.6 μg/m³ in 2020.
This was carried entirely by the month of May, with the improvements shown in the air quality of Torchiarolo being blemished by the excessively high reading in mid-2020.