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live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 39* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Konya is currently 1.9 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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Good 39 AQI US
|Friday, Dec 1|
Good 48 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 2|
Good 46 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 3|
Good 48 AQI US
|Monday, Dec 4|
Moderate 54 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 5|
Moderate 72 AQI US
|Wednesday, Dec 6|
Moderate 62 AQI US
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Konya is a city located in the south-central region of Turkey, on the edge of the Central Anatolian Plateau. It is home to over 2.2 million inhabitants, making it the seventh most populous city in the country, and is well known for being an industrial hub, with large amounts of development having taken place since the 1980’s.
As with many cities that have seen continued economic and infrastructural growth, Konya is subject to some less than perfect quality of air, in some cases having some severe elevations in its pollution levels. This has placed it amongst the top most polluted cities worldwide as of 2020, and going forward into 2021 it continues to see poor air quality readings.
In late May of 2021, Konya came in with a US AQI reading of 58, placing it into the ‘moderate’ pollution ratings bracket. This indicates that on the day in which this reading was taken, sensitive individuals may exhibit symptoms or irritation of their respiratory tract, although typically the general public may not have to worry so much during periods that have this amount of air pollution present. The US AQI reading is a number aggregated from several different pollutants found in the air, many of which will be discussed in following. This moderate reading requires a US AQI number of anywhere between 51 to 100 to be classified as such, and is color coded as yellow, both on air quality maps and graphs throughout the IQAir website.
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), readings that range from 0 up to 150 are deemed as acceptable, with US AQI readings above this starting to move into the dangerous territory, with 150 and above being ranked as ‘unhealthy’ and color coded as red (with further ratings coming up as the pollution levels rise). Whilst any reading up to 150 is acceptable, it is of importance to note that on the higher end of this spectrum, a number of health issues may present themselves, particularly to vulnerable portions of the population. The general public may start to experience their own symptoms and irritation to skin, exposed mucous membranes (such as the eyes, mouth, ears and nose), along with at-risk individuals possibly having more issues arise as a result of higher pollution exposure.
Whilst Konya presented with this moderate reading of air pollution in late May, other readings that came in over both 2020, and the months of both April and May of 2021 showed that the air quality can fluctuate significantly, with readings coming in as low as 36 and 44 on certain days (giving a ‘good’ air quality rating, color coded as green and requiring a reading of 0 to 50), and going all the way up to highs of 82 and 91 in the same month.
Looking at the levels of air pollution present over the course of 2020, it can be seen that Konya came in with a yearly PM2.5 average reading of 30.7 μg/m³, placing it within the ‘moderate’ pollution ratings bracket. When taken from the PM2.5 perspective, this requires a reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such.
This number displays that Konya came in on the higher end of this ratings bracket, placing it in 5th place out of all cities currently ranked in Turkey as of 2020, as well as in 377th place out of all cities ranked worldwide. In order to reach such a high ranking across all cities around the world, Konya must have some severe pollution issues that are bringing the yearly ambient PM2.5 readings up, as well as causing even further spikes during certain months of the year.
PM2.5 itself is a prominent measure of air pollution, despite being one of the main components used in the calculation of the overall US AQI level. The reason for this is that particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (sometimes going down to sizes many microns even smaller) is extremely dangerous to human health when inhaled. Its tiny size allows it to penetrate deep within the lung tissue, and from there pass over into the bloodstream, causing all manner of disastrous health effects to appear.
The main causes of elevated readings of PM2.5 in Konya are ones that come from the numerous combustion sources within the city, namely the many cars and heavy freight vehicles in constant use on the roads. As well as this many of these larger vehicles would be running on diesel fuel, and the sheer volume of them inhabiting the roads has increased massively over the last 30 years, and will likely continue to increase. Other major sources of air pollution include emissions from power plants (also running heavily off of fossil fuels such as coal), along with Turkish coal being burnt in homes (typically in lower income districts, with the local variety of coal being lower in quality and thus emitting more pollutants when burnt).
The main pollutants in the air are the ones that comprise the US AQI aggregate, which are sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) as well as both PM10 and PM2.5.
Other pollutants of note include heavy metals emitted from factories or combustion sources, with lead, cadmium and mercury all being found. Dioxins, furans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) would all be emitted as well, along with black carbon, the main component in soot.
Pollution levels reach a peak in Konya during the months of January, November and December, indicating a pattern whereby the PM2.5 start to rise at years end and continue into the early months of the following year.
Their respective readings were 37 μg/m³, 49.6 μg/m³ and 65.3 μg/m³, making December the most polluted month of the year and the only time in which the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket was reached (55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ required).
Despite having some more severe elevations in its pollution level towards the end of the year, Konya had several months with relatively cleaner air quality. They were April through to August, which came in with readings that sat on the lower end of the moderate pollution bracket.
The figures in order were 20.9 μg/m³, 19.6 μg/m³, 19.8 μg/m³, 19.9 μg/m³ and 19.8 μg/m³, showing that these few months all had very similar levels of air quality. Although not perfect by any means, the air during this time would be significantly more free from large clouds of smog, haze, dirt and dust and other hazardous fine particles.