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(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 14 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Tampa air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Sunday, Dec 3|
Good 18 AQI US
|Monday, Dec 4|
Good 24 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 5|
Good 19 AQI US
Good 14 AQI US
|Thursday, Dec 7|
Good 13 AQI US
|Friday, Dec 8|
Good 18 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 9|
Good 17 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 10|
Good 16 AQI US
|Monday, Dec 11|
Good 11 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 12|
Good 10 AQI US
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Tampa is a city located in the state of Florida, being counted as a major city and situated on the west coast of the state on Tampa bay, facing out onto the Gulf of Mexico. There are an estimated 399 thousand inhabitants in the city, making it the third most populous city in Florida, just after Miami and Jacksonville.
Tampa has a significant presence in industries such as healthcare, insurance, tourism and real estate, as well as having many large corporations headquartered within the city limits. Besides these industries, Tampa also has a sizeable port area, and with all of these factors combined, along with the increase in population and continued anthropogenic activity, there are subsequent negative consequences towards the quality of the air in the city.
In 2020, Tampa came in with a PM2.5 reading of 8.8 μg/m³ as its yearly average. This is a respectable reading that placed it within the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, for the best quality of air. However, there are months present where the air quality shows less than appreciable readings (with spikes in the PM2.5 count on record), and as such, it stands to reason that whilst Tampa maintains a good quality of air, it could do more to improve its ratings further, coming in at 3213th place out of all cities ranked worldwide in 2020, as well as 873rd place out of all cities in America.
With all forms of pollution becoming a more salient topic in recent years, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 bringing more attention to respiratory health (as well as heavily affecting many industries present throughout the world), it is apparent that Tampa, and many other cities throughout the United States are lacking adequate measures in significantly cutting down their air pollution levels.
Some of these causes that contribute to heightened instances of air pollution include ones such as emissions from factories and power plants, as well as other industrial areas. With a growing number of businesses, as well as homes, there comes with it an increased demand for power, as well as the further manufacturing or transportation of goods and other industrial items. Power plants and factories often run on fossil fuels such as coal, and when combusted these materials can release large amounts of pollution into the atmosphere.
Other salient causes include vehicular emissions, with a variety of vehicles on the road including countless cars (with increased vehicle ownership always on the rise), as well as heavy duty vehicles such as trucks, lorries and buses. The ships docking in the port would also release large amounts of smoke and particulate matter from their exhausts, and the subsequent unloading and transportation of the shipping containers would require a huge amount of movement from the aforementioned heavy duty vehicles.
These often run on diesel fuels, and can put out far more pollution than a singular vehicle of smaller size and weight, particularly if they run on a cleaner fuel source. Other sources of pollution in Tampa include ones such as construction sites and forest fires in surrounding regions, both of which can contribute to the amount of hazardous particulate matter and dangerous chemical pollutants in the air.
Looking at the data taken over the course of 2020, Tampa showed a few months out of the year when the PM2.5 count was higher, indicating a larger amount of smoke, haze and other air contaminants being present. The month of February came in with a relatively respectable reading of 8.7 μg/m³, still putting it just within the WHO's target goal. The following month of March then jumped up by a small amount, coming in with a reading of 10 μg/m³, placing it just on the very edge of the WHO's target bracket. The following month of April came in with a PM2.5 reading of 10.8 μg/m³, placing it in the 'good' air quality ratings bracket.
This was the only month of the year to reach a 'good' pollution rating, which requires a PM2.5 number of anywhere between 10 to 12 μg/m³ to be classified as such. The following month of July also came in with a somewhat elevated reading of 9.8 μg/m³, once again placing it within the very upper limits of the WHO's target goal, before dropping down again to 7.3 μg/m³ in August. This shows that the months of March and April were the most polluted of the year, with April being the highest with its reading of 10.8 μg/m³. Other months that also showed higher readings were January and December, with PM2.5 numbers of 9.4 μg/m³ and 9 μg/m³, still within the WHO's target goal, but elevated nevertheless
In following from the main causes of pollution occurring within Tampa, there are a number of prominent pollutants in the air that arise from these sources. Exhaust fumes from cars contain large amounts of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as well as sulfur dioxide (SO2), also releasing black carbon (the main component of soot) and volatile organic compounds (VOC's).
These can also find their release from any other combustion sites, with black carbon and VOC's finding their creation in the incomplete combustion of both fossil fuels and organic matter. Some examples of VOC's include chemicals such as benzene, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde. Regarding one of the most pertinent air contaminants in Tampa, ozone (O3) tends to be at the forefront of people’s concern.
Ozone is formed when the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx), as well as other chemicals from vehicle exhaust or gasoline vapors are exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation, found in abundance in the sunny climate of Tampa. This creates ozone, of smog as it is better known when it gathers in large enough accumulations.
A few of the health problems related to breathing polluted air in Tampa would be ones such as increased instances of dry coughs, chest pain, as well as inflammation of the respiratory tract and lung tissue, usually brought on by inhaling the aforementioned chemical pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide or ozone.
Fine particulate matter can cause rapid aging of the lungs as well as damage or scarring to the lung tissue, which besides reducing full lung capacity, can also have the knock on effect of making one more susceptible to future respiratory ailments. These would include ones such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and aggravated forms of asthma, all of which fall under the chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) bracket for lung related conditions.