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(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 32 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Odessa is currently 1.6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Good 29 AQI US
|Thursday, Sep 28|
Good 31 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 29|
Good 31 AQI US
Good 32 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 1|
Good 43 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 2|
Good 19 AQI US
|Tuesday, Oct 3|
Good 31 AQI US
|Wednesday, Oct 4|
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Thursday, Oct 5|
Moderate 51 AQI US
|Friday, Oct 6|
Good 33 AQI US
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Odessa is a city located in Ukraine, being the third largest in the country. It is a major draw for tourists, as well as being a prominent transport hub, connected via a multitude of roads, railways and a large seaport. Referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’, it has a large amount of architecture inspired by French and Italian designs, resembling a Mediterranean city more so than an eastern European one. This has caused it to be the previously mentioned large attraction for tourists, along with having a large import and export based economy (done by sea, rail and road). Many local based industries are involved in fuel refining, production of mechanical parts, as well as metal and chemical manufacturing, and as a result of this, the city is subsequently subject to some less than perfect levels of air quality, due to the high amount of industrial and anthropogenic activity taking place.
In early 2021, Odessa came in with PM2.5 readings as high as 36.2 μg/m³, one that would place it into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such, indicating that Odessa has some fairly prominent pollution readings, high enough to cause trouble to a large amount of the population. Although there were lesser readings on record in a similar time period, the larger spikes show that Odessa is a city that could certainly stand to improve its pollution levels.
Odessa, much like the rest of Ukraine, has a few main sources of pollution that come together in order to cause the higher readings of PM2.5 that are seen on record. PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (sometimes going down to sizes as small as 0.001 microns or less), and are thus used as major components in the calculation of the overall air quality, due to their highly detrimental effect that they have on human health when respired.
Some of the main causes of air pollution in Odessa include ones such as vehicle emissions, with a large amount of cars, motorbikes and heavy duty vehicles all taking to the road, giving out large amounts of chemical pollutants and hazardous particulate matter. Due to the large import export industry, these heavy duty vehicles (such as lorries and trucks) will be seen in excessive use, which raises the pollution level further due to their great size and weight, as well as running on diesel fuel, making them put out more pollution per individual vehicle than a smaller or lighter counterpart would.
One of the most prominent sources, besides vehicular emissions, would be that of coal fired power plants. Nearly all of Ukraine’s energy comes from such power plants, and with a growing population and large amount of urban infrastructure being added (with over 1 million people already living within Odessa), the amount of coal being burnt is increasing substantially, putting out huge amounts of dangerous pollution into the air. In closing, the two most prominent sources of air pollution in Odessa are from vehicles and power plants, as well as some other minor sources such as crop burning, construction sites and road repairs.
Whilst all members of the population are equally at risk to pollution, there are certain portions or groups that are more at risk, due to a number of reasons, usually pertaining to health or background. One of these groups would be young children, as well as the elderly, who can suffer from grave consequences of developing pollution related respiratory issues. Others would be those with compromised immune systems, as well as preexisting health conditions, particularly of the cardiac or pulmonary variety.
A number of initiatives can be taken by both the government as well as the general population, in order to contain the amount of pollution released from various sites. One of these would be the removal of older and poor condition vehicles from the road, as well as gradually phasing out the use of diesel fuels, something which may be many years in the making, but a small reduction would make a significant difference. Regarding the vehicles, further development in public transport infrastructure as well as initiatives to get citizens to move over from personal vehicle use and over to taking more public transport would cut a huge amount of vehicle related pollution down.
In terms of factory emissions, whilst it is hard to change many old and ingrained habits in a short space of time, the introduction of emission caps would go a long way in helping to reduce highly polluting industrial areas and coal fired factories. With these caps in place, offending sources can then have fines or charges imposed on them if they consistently break over the pollution limit, as well as threat of closure. These would go a long way in order to get individuals and businesses to do their part in reducing their pollutive footprint within Odessa.
With a majority of its air pollution coming from combustion sources, Odessa would subsequently have a large amount of related materials in the air. These would include one such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), both of which are released in high quantities from vehicles, as well as from other combustion sites including factories and power plants. Other pollutants include ones such as black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC's), which include chemicals such as methylene chloride, benzene, toluene and formaldehyde.
Other ones that see their release from vehicles include carbon monoxide (CO), PM10 and PM2.5, different oxides of nitrogen (NOx) as well as ozone (O3), which is formed by the aforementioned oxides of nitrogen when they are exposed to solar radiation, thus creating instances of smog, a name coined for large accumulations of ozone. Whilst it is a vital component in the upper atmosphere, when it gathers enough of the ground level it can cause severely adverse effects to those that breathe it.