|3||Bosanska Krupa, Federation of B&H|
|4||Visoko, Federation of B&H|
|6||Novi Grad, Srpska|
|7||Zenica, Federation of B&H|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 42 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Banja Luka is currently 2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Sunday, Sep 25|
Moderate 92 US AQI
|Monday, Sep 26|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 106 US AQI
|Tuesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 60 US AQI
Good 42 US AQI
|Thursday, Sep 29|
Good 13 US AQI
|Friday, Sep 30|
Good 13 US AQI
|Saturday, Oct 1|
Good 17 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 2|
Good 12 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 3|
Good 20 US AQI
|Tuesday, Oct 4|
Good 16 US AQI
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Banja Luka or Banjaluka is the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the largest city of Republika Srpska. According to the 2013 census, Banja Luka had a population of 139,000 in its urban area and 185,000 in the whole municipal region.
Towards the middle of 2021, Banja Luka was experiencing a period of “Moderate” quality air with a US AQI reading of 71. 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 six of the most commonly found pollutants. If figures for all six are not all available, the figure is calculated using what information there is. For Banja Luka, the only pollutant recorded was PM2.5 with a figure of 21.5 µg/m³. This concentration is over twice the recommended safe level as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With air pollution at this level, the advice is to remain indoors as much as possible, closing doors and windows to prevent more dirty air from entering. Those people who are particularly sensitive to poor air quality should avoid venturing outside unless it’s absolutely necessary, then a good quality mask should be worn. The table published at the top of this page should help with that decision.
Air pollution can be very volatile and, as such, can change very quickly depending on many variables, such as wind speed and direction and the strength of sunlight.
Looking back at the records published by the Swiss air monitoring company IQAir.com for 2020 it can be seen that during the month of June, Banja Luka achieved the WHO target figure for air pollution with a figure of 7.7 µg/m³. (The target figure is 10 µg/m³). The adjoining months were classified as being “Good” with readings between 10 and 12 µg/m³. March and April and August through to the end of September saw a decline in quality when the figures were seen to be between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³ which put it into the “Moderate” bracket. February, November and December recorded levels from the “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” category with readings between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³. The remaining month of January returned the worst air quality with a recorded figure of 84.1 µg/m³ which is classed as “Unhealthy”. This could be due to the increased use of poor quality coal used for heating at this time of year.
There were no historic records kept before 2020 when the annual average was 25 µg/m³. However, this may not be an accurate reading because of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many vehicles were no longer used as the drivers were furloughed and not required to commute to and from work. There were also many factories and other non-essential production units which were temporarily closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
The number of cars and individual fireplaces, which are the biggest causes of air pollution today, has increased. According to the Institute of Civil Engineering IG, despite the heating season and the fact that a significant number of households use coal for heating, air quality in Banja Luka was mostly in the first category, i.e. within the limits prescribed by the Law on Air Protection. Air pollution in the city of Banja Luka is monitored and the situation is generally known every year, which is excellent air quality throughout the year, except during the heating season when air quality declines, and belongs to the second or third quality category with regard to some pollutants. , most often floating particles. According to him, the occasional poor air quality is mostly influenced by the increased number of individual fireplaces.
The fact that recently shocked the public is that Republika Srpska has more registered cars than employed citizens.
About 50 per cent of crude oil in the form of petroleum products is consumed by road users. Considering the harmfulness of burning fossil fuels, that speaks volumes about how big the air pollutants are, such as cars, trucks, buses and vans. An additional problem is that the largest amount of emissions from road traffic occurs in places with high population density, such as in the cities.
Experts warn that, if they do not start working actively on the development of public transport, in addition to unbearable traffic jams, a large number of cars will have an alarming effect on air pollution.
By modernising fossil fuel combustion equipment, switching from coal to natural gas as a transition fuel, and introducing restrictions on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, the EU has managed to reduce these emissions from large combustion plants, i.e. thermal power plants and heating plants. Compared to 2004, emissions of sulphur dioxide decreased by 86 per cent, and nitrogen oxides by 59 per cent, according to data from the European Environment Agency.
PM2.5 is generally considered dangerous to human health because of its small size so it can penetrate deep into the lungs and further into the bloodstream, causing a range of health problems including heart disease and other cardiovascular complications. PM2.5 is usually a product of burning fossil fuels, it comes from the exhaust of motor vehicles, thermal power plants and industrial production.
Ozone is the next most common air pollutant, formed by a chemical reaction involving sunlight, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which results in the highest ground-level ozone values being measured during warm, sunny days, usually in the afternoon. Ozone is a powerful irritant and can cause pneumonia, shortness of breath, chest pain and wheezing, coughing as well as exacerbate pre-existing respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and asthma. Prolonged exposure to ozone is often associated with chronic respiratory diseases.
Nitrogen oxides are one of the most important air pollutants that are the product of fossil fuel combustion. They are more often present near roads and factories or indoors, where gas is used for cooking. Nitrogen oxides play a significant role in intensifying existing lung disease, asthma, bronchial symptoms, pneumonia, and reducing overall lung function.