Air quality in Copenhagen

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Copenhagen

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What is the current weather in Copenhagen?

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WeatherBroken clouds
Wind11.5 mp/h
Pressure29.7 Hg

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What is the current air quality in Copenhagen?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 10 US AQItrendPM2.5

PM2.5 concentration in Copenhagen air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value

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What is the current air quality in Copenhagen?

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Copenhagen air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Monday, Nov 27

Good 12 AQI US

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32° 28.4°
Wind rotating 58 degree 15.7 mp/h
Tuesday, Nov 28

Good 25 AQI US

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28.4° 23°
Wind rotating 52 degree 13.4 mp/h
Wednesday, Nov 29

Good 17 AQI US

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32° 26.6°
Wind rotating 55 degree 15.7 mp/h

Good 10 AQI US

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Weather icon 90%
32° 28.4°
Wind rotating 68 degree 17.9 mp/h
Friday, Dec 1

Good 10 AQI US

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32° 30.2°
Wind rotating 14 degree 8.9 mp/h
Saturday, Dec 2

Good 13 AQI US

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30.2° 26.6°
Wind rotating 1 degree 6.7 mp/h
Sunday, Dec 3

Good 16 AQI US

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30.2° 26.6°
Wind rotating 348 degree 6.7 mp/h
Monday, Dec 4

Good 30 AQI US

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30.2° 26.6°
Wind rotating 353 degree 4.5 mp/h
Tuesday, Dec 5

Good 18 AQI US

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33.8° 26.6°
Wind rotating 111 degree 17.9 mp/h
Wednesday, Dec 6

Good 28 AQI US

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Weather icon 90%
35.6° 32°
Wind rotating 106 degree 17.9 mp/h

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What is the air quality index of Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark and is also the largest. It is located on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand. At the start of 2020, its population was approximately 2,057,142.

At the end of 2020, Copenhagen was enjoying a “Good” level of air quality with a figure of 23 US AQI, according to the recommended figures supplied by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Concentrations of other pollutants were as follows: - PM2.5 - 4.4 µg/m³, PM10 - 8.9 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 56 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 5 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 0.1 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 0.2 µg/m³.

In 2019, Copenhagen attainted the annual average target figure of less than 10 µg/m³, its actual figure was 9.6 µg/m³. It recorded a “Target” figure for 7 months of the year, four of the remaining months gave it a “Good” reading and for the remaining month, a “Moderate” figure was noted.

Why Copenhagen is polluted?

A new overview of air quality in Copenhagen shows many particles that are harmful to health on some roads and in the inner city. The Unity List mayor wants car-free neighbourhoods. Air pollution is a problem in Copenhagen, and it is particularly prevalent on the access roads and in the capital's inner city. A new collaboration between Google and the City of Copenhagen has been initiated which has had a car driving around the streets of Copenhagen to measure and map air pollution. The results already show a pattern in the city. They show that there is a significantly higher level of ultrafine particles on the busiest roads and in the inner city.

Ultrafine air particles (PM2.5) are considered to be the most harmful particles to health and originate especially from the combustion and exhaust fumes from diesel engines. The project provides for the first time the opportunity to measure this type of particles, which have not been mapped before.

Is air pollution in Copenhagen getting worse?

The E20 motorway south of the city in particular and access roads such as Lyngbyvejen and Folehaven have a very high level of ultrafine particles. In the central part of the city, HC Andersens Boulevard, Børsgade and Nørre Voldgade also stand out as having very high levels.

The two largest local sources of premature deaths are wood burning (15 in 2017) and road transport (14 in 2017). Although the current EU limit values for particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide NO2 and ozone (O3) have not been exceeded, there are still significant health effects, as there are also health effects below the EU limit values.

What can be done to improve the air quality in Copenhagen?

In a press release, it was pointed out that car-free districts and car-free streets should be created, that the environmental zones must be expanded and tightened considerably, and that the number of parking spaces must be reduced. It also proposed that the creating of shortcuts for electric cars, buses and bicycles by closing roads for transit with petrol and diesel cars would also be a good incentive.

The quality of the air is assessed on the basis of the EU limit values and the WHO guidelines, respectively. The WHO guidelines for annual average value are about half of the EU limit values for PM2.5 (10 µg/m³) and a half for PM10 (20 µg/m³) while they are the same for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) (40). PM2.5 is the mass of particles below 2.5 micrometres in diameter, PM10 is below 10 micrometres, and NO2 is nitrogen dioxide.

The EU has set limit values for air pollution and takes the problem very seriously, including legal action. The EU's limit values are thus legally binding on the member states, and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency must prepare action plans if they are exceeded, and Denmark can be fined if we do not ensure that they are complied with quickly enough. The World Health Organisation, WHO has set its own, and in some cases, lower limit values for air pollution based on purely health professional assessments.

What are the effects on health through breathing in Copenhagen’s polluted air?

Aarhus University estimated in a statement last year that 6,000 Danes die a year due to poor air quality. In Copenhagen alone, about 550 people die prematurely every year due to air pollution. It kills mainly through lung and heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.

There are many more cases of morbidity than there are cases of premature death. For example, there are about 440,000 days of reduced activity (sick days) as a result of air pollution in the City of Copenhagen. In the calculations, morbidity covers hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, chronic bronchitis and asthma, as well as days of lost work and reduced activity. The damaging effects of long-term exposure to particulate matter pollution accumulate throughout life from birth to death in all who are exposed to it. The long-term effects can contribute to cardiovascular disease and respiratory disorders. Therefore, the deaths are seen especially in people who have been exposed for many years, i.e. in the elderly as well as people who are particularly sensitive.

Air pollution is especially critical for children while their body, lungs, airways and immune system are developing. Air pollution can slow lung development and increase hypersensitivity which can lead to asthma and other lung diseases.

PM2.5 stands for Particulate Matter of 2.5 Microns in diameter or smaller. That is, very small air particles with a diameter below 0.0025 millimetres. PM2.5 is under special focus as recent research suggests that the smallest particles are the most harmful as they penetrate deep into the lungs, which has serious consequences. The majority of the fine PM2.5 particles are formed outside Denmark and transported here by the wind. All of Zealand, Funen and Southern Jutland have values above the WHO limit value.

PM10 stands for Particulate Matter of 10 Microns in diameter or smaller. That is small air particles with a diameter below 0.01 millimetres. The PM10 particles are more often from the local area and the concentrations have greater geographical variation than PM2.5.

Copenhagen air quality data attribution


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