|9||Naujoji Akmene, Siauliai|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 50 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 12 µg/m³|
|PM10|| 18.7 µg/m³|
|NO2|| 3.2 µg/m³|
|SO2|| 1.5 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Kaunas air is currently 2.4 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Monday, Nov 29|
Good 44 US AQI
|Tuesday, Nov 30|
Good 26 US AQI
|Wednesday, Dec 1|
Moderate 63 US AQI
Good 50 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 3|
Good 22 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 4|
Good 40 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 5|
Good 47 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 6|
Good 42 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 7|
Moderate 62 US AQI
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Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania after Vilnius, which is the capital and an important centre of Lithuanian economic, academic and cultural life. According to a census conducted in 2020, Kaunas had an estimated population of approximately 290,000 people, but this figure doubles to 588,500 when the entire metropolitan area is taken into account.
At the start of the fourth quarter of 2021, Kaunas was going through a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 82. This figure is often used as a metric when comparing different cities in different countries. There are usually six of the most commonly occurring pollutants which are measured and this figure is then calculated. If records for all six are not available, a number can still be calculated using the available information. In the case of Kaunas, only PM2.5 and PM10 were recorded with respective figures of 26.8 µg/m³ and 26.8 µg/m³. This level of PM2.5 is over two and a half times higher than the acceptable target figure of 10 µg/m³ as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Whilst the level here is “Moderate”, the given advice would be to close doors and windows to prevent more polluted air from entering the house. Those people who are more sensitive to poorer quality air than others should try to remain indoors and not venture outside unless it is avoidable. If this is the case, then a good quality face mask should be worn at all times.
There is a downloadable app from AirVisual which is available for all operating systems which keeps you updated as to the air quality in real-time.
Looking back at the published figures for 2020, released by IQAir.com, it can easily be seen that for five months of the year, Kaunas enjoyed air quality lower than the 10 µg/m³ as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The month that returned the very best air quality was April with a reading of just 5.5 µg/m³. The worst month out of these five was June with a 9.2 µg/m³ figure. February and September returned “Good” quality air with figures of 10.2 µg/m³ and 11.0 µg/m³, respectively. Readings need to be between 10 and 12 µg/m³ to be classified as such.
Records regarding air quality were first kept in 2018 when the reading was noted as being 15.1 µg/m³. An improvement was seen the following year with a figure then of 12.2 µg/m³. Last year, 2020, saw yet another improvement with a figure of 10.8 µg/m³. This latest figure however may not be a reflection of the true situation. Due to the COVI-19 pandemic, many vehicles were not required because of a change in working patterns whereby their emissions were no longer polluting the city centres. Some smaller factories and other production units were also temporarily closed so their emissions were also halted.
The National Centre for Public Health under the Ministry of Health reports that when streets dry up in spring and dry, warm weather stabilizes, the increase in particulate matter (PM) is mainly due to traffic, street and gravel dust, agricultural activities, road repairs or non-environmental construction.
During the colder winter months, a lot of air pollution can be traced back to home heating. This situation is made worse through the use of wet wood. If wood that is too wet (for example, 21 to 22 per cent moisture), the combustion process will be inefficient because the energy released will be used to dry the wood rather than heat the room. In addition, burning wet wood releases more pollutants into the ambient air.
It is good if firewood is burned, although it also increases pollution, but it does not cause major problems and is permissible. The situation is changing dramatically, with some citizens incinerating waste, most often woodchips, which are produced in large quantities in the manufacture of furniture. Upholsterers try to get rid of that waste and just give it away, and sometimes even bring it in with their own transport for free. This violates the law, because waste incineration is prohibited, but not everyone looks on these woodchips as being waste.
At the end of January 2021, an air quality monitoring system started operating in Kaunas. Autonomous measuring devices will capture potential pollution in 20 different locations across the city. The obtained data will help to create an accurate map of problem areas and to act promptly by eliminating pollution sources.
Kaunas is a primarily a green city. However, as in any metropolis, there is no shortage of cars, industry and other potential sources of pollution.
This new system will be configured in the city to detect the concentration of volatile organic compounds and other pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter. Air temperature and relative humidity will also be monitored.
The new system will make it possible to react more quickly to sources of pollution, analyse the causes and take appropriate measures. Over time, a clear map of problem areas will be created. The data obtained will also help to make effective decisions on the regulation of traffic flows and the development and expansion of individual urban areas.
Particulate matter is a mixture of airborne particles and liquid droplets, which may contain various components such as acids, sulphates, nitrates, organic compounds, metals, soil particles, dust, soot and biological components (allergens, microorganisms). Larger particulate matter (PM10) usually affects the upper respiratory tract, travels to the bronchi, often causing coughing and sneezing, while small particles (PM2.5) enter the lungs, blood and can affect not only the respiratory but also the circulatory system, deteriorating internal organs. Function and complicate the course of chronic diseases.
Due to their complex chemical and physical composition, particulate matter can also cause specific health effects specific to the particular substance they contain. Particles of soot, for example, are toxic and carcinogenic due to the polyaromatic carbohydrates they contain. Scientific sources indicate that on days when the concentration of particulate matter in the air increases, mortality increases.
Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with asthma and other diseases of the respiratory and circulatory systems are particularly sensitive to air pollution by particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants. These individuals are at particular risk and, as such, should take extra care.