Air quality in Budapest

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

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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Air Quality contributors Sources

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Data sources

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The profile logo of European Environment Agency (EEA)The profile logo of Ministry of Agrarian AffairsThe profile logo of European Environment Agency (EEA)The profile logo of Ministry of Agrarian Affairs

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Weather

What is the current weather in Budapest?

Weather icon
WeatherMist
Temperature39.2°C
Humidity93%
Wind2.3 mp/h
Pressure1029 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time Hungary city ranking

#cityUS AQI
1 Miskolc, Northern Hungary

175

2 Nyiregyhaza, Northern Great Plain

171

3 Sajoszentpeter, Northern Hungary

164

4 Kazincbarcika, Northern Hungary

162

5 Putnok, Northern Hungary

161

6 Eger, Northern Hungary

158

7 Hernadszurdok, Northern Hungary

157

8 Tokol, Central Hungary

154

9 Szazhalombatta, Central Hungary

152

10 Kecskemet, Bacs-Kiskun

151

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

live Budapest aqi ranking

Real-time Budapest air quality ranking

#stationUS AQI
1 Gergely utca

164

2 Budapest - Korakas

161

3 Budapest - Gilice

156

4 Honvéd

154

5 Erzsébet tér

142

6 Csepel

141

7 Kosztolányi D. tér

141

8 Budatétény

139

9 Káposztásmegyer

132

10 Budapest - Teleki

124

(local time)

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Budapest webcam

1:09, Feb 26

Is there air pollution in Budapest?

Thumbnail of Budapest webcam at 1:09, Feb 26

US AQI

142

live AQI index
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Budapest?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 142 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
52.1 µg/m³trend
pm10
91 µg/m³trend
o3
5.2 µg/m³trend
no2
48 µg/m³trend
so2
4.3 µg/m³trend
co
1234 µg/m³trend

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Budapest?

An IQAir mask icon Sensitive groups should wear a mask outdoors
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An open window iconClose your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air
A man cycling iconEveryone should reduce outdoor exercise

Forecast

Budapest air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Tuesday, Feb 23

Moderate 96 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Wednesday, Feb 24

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 111 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Thursday, Feb 25

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 133 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Today

Unhealthy 153 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon60.8°39.2°
Wind rotating 236 degree

2.2 mp/h

Saturday, Feb 27

Moderate 66 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon50°41°
Wind rotating 333 degree

13.4 mp/h

Sunday, Feb 28

Moderate 58 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon48.2°35.6°
Wind rotating 324 degree

2.2 mp/h

Monday, Mar 1

Moderate 57 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon50°37.4°
Wind rotating 58 degree

0 mp/h

Tuesday, Mar 2

Moderate 71 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon51.8°37.4°
Wind rotating 248 degree

2.2 mp/h

Wednesday, Mar 3

Moderate 58 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon55.4°39.2°
Wind rotating 235 degree

2.2 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Budapest

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Budapest

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Budapest

How clean is the air quality in Budapest?

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary, being the most populated city in the country as well as the 9th largest in the European union, if one is to go by population size within the city’s limits. It is known as Hungary's financial heart, as well as having a prominent presence and industry in finance, art, fashion, science, technology and education.

Due to its presence as an economic hub, Budapest is counted as the second fastest developing economy in Europe, and as such with any city experiencing a rapid growth and boom in population and infrastructure, there are bound to be related pollution issues.

With the mass increase of buildings, the rise of industrial areas and factories, as well as the larger amounts of people moving around in their day to day lives, air pollution usually goes up as a result.

In 2019, Budapest came in with a PM2.5 reading of 14 μg/m³, placing it in the ‘moderate’ pollution ratings bracket, a rating that requires a PM2.5 reading of any number between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ for classification. Whilst this is on the lower end of the moderate ratings spectrum, it is important to note that any PM2.5 reading about the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less may yield negative health effects on those exposed over long periods of time, and indeed any pollution reading over 0 has the chance of causing adverse effects.

This reading of 14 μg/m³ in 2019 placed Budapest into 1360th place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as 6th place in Hungary. Whilst these are not catastrophic readings by any measure, it still stands to reason that Budapest, as well as Hungary, could make significant improvements in the levels of their air quality, being far more polluted than many of its European neighbors.

When is the air at its most polluted in Budapest?

Observing the data taken over the course of 2019, there emerges a distinct pattern of when the pollution levels are at their worst, or in the same note when the PM2.5 readings are at their highest.

PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. These fine particles can go down to sizes as small as 0.001 microns in length, and due to this extremely small size, represent a significant health risk for people who respire them. Subsequently, they are a major component in the calculation of the overall air quality levels, or air quality index (AQI).

With the data in hand, there begins to be a noticeable decline in air quality around October, with September coming in with a fairly respectable reading of 10.5 μg/m³, before jumping up by a significant amount to 18.7 μg/m³ in October.

This continues until February of the following year, showing that pollution levels tend to correlate with the winter months. The period with the highest level of pollution was over the course of December, which came in with a PM2.5 reading of 21.2 μg/m³.

When is the air quality the cleanest in Budapest?

Following on directly from the previous question, as mentioned there is a distinct cessation of elevated pollution levels in February, almost with a direct drop that leads into March and continues all the way through to September.

February came in with a PM2.5 reading of 20.7 μg/m³, and the following month of March came in with a reading of 10.4 μg/m³, showing a drop of nearly half, a considerable amount in regards to air pollution levels. So as stated, from March to September the air quality is at its best, with May and July coming in with the best PM2.5 readings of 9 μg/m³ and 9.1 μg/m³ respectively, making May the cleanest month.

Aside from being the cleanest months, they also managed to break into the WHO's target goal of less than 10 μg/m³, for the best rating of air quality. If Budapest were to be able to keep its colder months pollution levels down to similar readings of PM2.5, its overall yearly average would improve significantly.

Has the air quality improved in Budapest?

Looking at the data provided in previous years, in can be seen that despite still having slightly elevated pollution levels, Budapest has made some improvements in its steps towards cleaning up its air quality. For numbers on record, 2018 came in with a yearly average of 16.5 μg/m³.

As mentioned before, 2019’s yearly average was 14 μg/m³, showing that an improvement of 2.5 units was made from the year prior. Although this is a small number, it is still a step in the right direction, however it will require the yearly averages of 2020 and beyond to see if the improvement is indeed linear or just fluctuating up and down. But as it stands from now, the air quality has shown signs of improvement.

What are some of the main pollutants in the air in Budapest?

With a large amount of its pollution coming from sources such as vehicle emissions, as well as the heating of homes and businesses during the colder winter months, there would be subsequent pollution emanating from the need to burn fuels and similar materials to provide the energy.

Besides just coming from city centers, the burning of wood and charcoal would be taking place in lower income districts or households that still utilize traditional methods of keeping the house warm or for cooking, although this is far more prevalent in provincial areas outside of major cities.

With this in mind, pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) would be ever present in the atmosphere, most prominent in the air over areas that see high volumes of traffic, with nitrogen dioxide being the main offender here, which has a significant danger to human health, causing damage to the lungs and triggering off respiratory conditions such as emphysema and asthma.

Other pollutants such as black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC's) can be produced from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (such as diesel used in certain vehicles or coal in factories) and organic matter, such as wood or charcoal that may be used for traditional heating and cooking methods. Black carbon is a potent carcinogen as well as having negative effects on the climate. Some examples of VOC's would be benzene, xylene and formaldehyde.

All of these have significant effects on the health of people who are exposed to them, particularly over long periods of time. In closing, it should be noted that out of all of the pollutants in the air in Budapest, nitrogen dioxide may have the most significant effect on pollution levels, constantly breaching or exceeding the recommended safe levels in the air in Budapest and Hungary on a constant basis.

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