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3:28, Sep 21
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 61 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Nitra is currently 3.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Monday, Sep 18|
Moderate 52 AQI US
|Tuesday, Sep 19|
Good 26 AQI US
|Wednesday, Sep 20|
Good 30 AQI US
Moderate 61 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 22|
Moderate 54 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 23|
Good 41 AQI US
|Sunday, Sep 24|
Good 43 AQI US
|Monday, Sep 25|
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Tuesday, Sep 26|
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 56 AQI US
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Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the Nitra River. It is the fifth largest city in Slovakia with an estimated population of approximately 78,000, according to a survey conducted in 2020.
At the beginning of 2022, Nitra was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 57. 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. There were four of the main pollutants measured in Nitra which were; PM2.5 - 15 µg/m³, PM10 - 20 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 13 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 21 µg/m³.
This level of PM2.5 is one and a half times above 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 affected by many variables so it comes as no surprise that figures vary throughout the year. Looking back at the 2020 figures published by IQAir.com, it can be seen that the cleanest month for air quality was September when Nitra achieved the WHO target figure of being 10 µg/m³ or less. The actual figure was 9.9 µg/m³. From May until the end of August and during October and February, the air quality in Nitra was “Good” with figures between 10.1 and 12.0 µg/m³. The remaining five months saw air quality classified as “Moderate” with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The dirtiest month was January with a reading of 25.5 µg/m³.
Historically, records pertaining to air quality have been held since 2017 when the annual average was noted to be 17.0 µg/m³. A slight decline was recorded the following year with a figure of 17.6 µg/m³. In 2019 an improvement was noted when the figure was 15.1 µg/m³ followed by another one in 2020 when that reading was 14.1 µg/m³. This lower 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.
The dominant source of air pollution in the Nitra Region is road transport, with the R1 Pribina expressway being the busiest. Within the region, natural gas is mainly used for household heating, with the exception of the more mountainous area in the north of the region (solid fuel predominates). Industrial sources of air pollution are less important in terms of their contribution to local air pollution by basic pollutants. Depending on the meteorological conditions, the influence of the chemical industry may manifest itself in the Nitra Region.
The main causes of current air pollution are primarily emissions from domestic heating and emissions from transport, as well as high background concentrations (pollution where it is not possible to directly determine the source of emissions).
There are currently 12 kilometres of cycling routes built in Nitra, the longest of which is on the embankment around the Nitra River. In the future, it is planned to complete the existing 28-kilometre network, which would allow such ecological transport to expand.
In connection with the current smog situation, SHMÚ recommends people to limit their time outdoors, shorten the ventilation of living rooms and limit physical exertion or sports activities in the air. At the same time, waste incineration should be reduced. In the case of wood heating, use well-dried wood, clean the boiler and chimney regularly, add more often in smaller batches, adjust the control dampers so that the air has access to fuel, do not suffocate the fire and, if possible, replace the old combustion equipment with a modern boiler with low emissions.
In 2013, the Slovak Republic adopted a PM10 Reduction Strategy to address air quality problems.
The elderly, people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, allergy sufferers and asthmatics, very young children and pregnant women are the most sensitive to the unfavourable smog situation. Complications include eye, nose and throat irritation, chest tightness, cough and headache. In asthmatics, it can cause seizures and respiratory irritation symptoms. Chronic effects can be expected with repeated and long-term exposure to increased concentrations of pollutants and can be manifested by inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract and lungs, increased alertness to allergic reactions, disorders of the body's resistance.