Atmospheric pollution in the belgrade metropolitan area
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In the last decade air pollution represents one of the major environmental issues and is becoming a very important factor of the quality of life in urban areas, posing a risk both to human health and to the environment. Here we discuss atmospheric pollution in the Belgrade metropolitan area based on the measurements from an official monitoring network of 3 air pollution stations set up by Hydrometeorology Service of Republic of Serbia, from January 2003 to February 2004. The monitoring of three principal air pollutants: SO2 and NO2 as gas components and black smoke (BS) as solid phase in the air were conducted based on 24-hour samples. Those measurements showed that daily average values for SO2 and BS were highest during the winter months (from November-March), very often exceeding the permissible limits, while NO2 values were generally below it. In order to have a better picture of the air pollution throughout the year we calculated air pollution indices for those 3 locations based on... the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and following the recommendation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). SO2 and BS showed significant seasonal variations, with AQI values often higher than 100 and in the cases of severe air pollution episodes even exceeding 200 in the city center during winter months. During summer (June-August) and transitional seasons it was subjected to Good and Moderate conditions, with periodical episodes of air pollution. For NO2 there was not so much difference between warm and cold seasons and throughout the year it was mostly in the Good and Moderate categories. From all these measurements and analyses we could conclude that main air pollution sources in Belgrade are fossil fuel combustion in small units (e.g. used for domestic heating) and traffic. High sulfur content in the fuel used for the domestic heating and old inefficient cars using leaded petrol are the most responsible for the bad air quality over this area. Comparing average monthly concentrations of those 3 pollutants during observed period of time we could conclude that their concentrations were decreasing significantly in 2004 comparing to 2003, but started to increase again in 2005. This increase is mostly concerning SO2 and BS. Knowing that SO2 causes impaired respiratory function and may aggravate existing respiratory disease and since the particulate matter in the air makes the effects more severe, we can assume that most residents will face serious health problems in this area unless the control measures are introduced.
Keywords:urban air pollution / air quality index / sulfur dioxide / nitrogen dioxide / and black smoke
- 9th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, Sep 01-03, 2005, Rhodes Isl, Greece