Friday, 18 February 2022

State Secretary Comments on Air Quality Situation in Slavonski Brod

ZAGREB, 18 Feb 2022 - Discussing changes to the Air Protection Act on Friday, Croatian parliamentarians pointed to the long-standing problem of air pollution in Slavonski Brod, which State Secretary Mile Horvat described as "a complex case."

Horvat said that the authorities of that eastern city on the Sava River, across the city of Brod in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, had sent the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry an action plan for the improvement of air quality six times and that the ministry returned the report six times because the measures envisaged were not good.

He noted that ministry officials in January had meetings with representatives of Slavonski Brod, Osijek, and Zagreb to instruct them how those actions plan should look.

Following talks with the competent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, concerning the oil refinery in Brod, about which Slavonski Brod authorities had been complaining for years, Horvat said that some progress had been made.

We no longer have the degree of emissions and pollution as before, he said in response to HDZ MP Miro Totgergeli and Social Democrats MP Marina Opačak Bilić, stressing that Slavonski Brod has a number of problems, that pollution there increases in the winter due to traffic and people using wood for heating, which, he said, causes hydrogen sulfide emissions that do not come from the neighboring country.

Most of Croatia has top air quality

Horvat explained that action plans to improve air quality are adopted only by those agglomerations which are found to exceed the annual average of allowed particle pollution.

That is the obligation of their leaders, the Ministry does not do that, Horvat told MPs, confirming that those who put forward a plan must also ensure funds for its implementation.

He also noted that air in most of Croatia was of top quality, while in some urban centers it was below that category.

However, Vesna Vučemilović of the Croatian Sovereignists cited data from the European Environment Agency, saying that the quality of air in Croatia gives cause for concern.

It is estimated that every year there are more than 5,000 premature deaths due to poor air quality, she said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Zagreb 3rd World City With Highest Air Pollution

ZAGREB, 1 Nov 2021 - Zagreb was the third city in the world with the highest air pollution on Monday, according to the Swiss IQAir website, which publishes global data on air quality.

Lahore, Pakistan was the city with the most polluted air, with an air quality index of 264, followed by Delhi, India with an air quality index of 198, and Zagreb was third with an air quality index of 183.

Traffic, industry, the heating season, and fog contribute to air pollution.

"Yes, traffic and industry affect the increase of pollution. But the heating season does too. And the weather conditions also contribute," Zvjezdana Bencetić, a professor at the Zagreb Faculty of Science, said recently when asked to comment on the fact that Zagreb is often ranked among cities with high air pollution.

As in recent days, the worst pollutant in Zagreb was the PM2.5 particles, which today were 11.7 times above the World Health Organization guideline value.

These particles are generated by the burning of fossil fuels such as vehicular emissions or the use of wood or coal for heating.

Slavonski Brod is another Croatian city with air pollution problems.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Slavonski Brod Ranks Third Worst City in Europe on Air Quality Index

ZAGREB, 17 June 2021 - The eastern Croatian city of Slavonski Brod is the third worst city for the quality of air according to the European Environment Agency (EEA) data which indicates that more than half of European cities still have polluted air despite reduced emissions during the pandemic lockdown.

The worst situation is in eastern Europe where coal continues to be the main source of energy.

The most polluted air was registered in Nowy Sacz in Poland where the biannual average of fine particulate matter on an area of fewer than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), which are considered to be damaging to health, amounted to 27.3 micrograms per cubic meter.

Cremone in Italy ranked second with 25.9 micrograms PM2.5 per cubic meter and Slavonski Brod ranked third with 25.7 micrograms PM2.5 per cubic meter.

Three cities with the cleanest air in Europe were Umea in Sweden (3.7), Tampere in Finland (3.8), and Funchal in Portugal (4.,2).

Poor air in Zagreb too

This year's PM2.5 average in Zagreb amounted to 15.8 micrograms per cubic meter which means the air is of poor quality and presents a moderate health risk. In Rijeka, it was 10.6, which is moderate pollution, according to EEA.

EEA analyzed data for 323 European cities in 2019 and 2020 and determined that only 127 had a PM2.5 level below the limits recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Exposure to fine particulate matter cause more than 400,000 premature deaths per annum in Europe.

The EEA data indicates that the biannual average is only available for those cities that are regularly monitored and do not include all European cities.

EEA notes that the lockdown due to the pandemic resulted in a decrease in the level of nitrogen dioxide released from diesel motors but the level of particulate matter remained high.

The level of nitrogen dioxide fell by 60% in some cities due to the lockdown in April 2020 while the reduction in the particulate matter was less dramatic - with the level of coarse particulate matter (PM10) falling between 20% and 30% in April 2020.

Even though the quality of air improved significantly last year, air pollution remains to be stubbornly high in many cities in Europe, EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said.

For the latest news about Zagreb, click here.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

IQAir: Zagreb Residents Breathed Worst Air in European Union on Friday

January the 17th, 2021 - As a resident of Zagreb, there is a lot I can say I really love about the Croatian capital. Having lived for three years in Croatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik, where over-tourism and infrastructure simply not being able to cope during summer is a constant issue, the ''everything at your fingertips'' offer Zagreb has (at least in comparison to the Pearl of the Adriatic) still succeeds in making my daily life feel easier even after over three years of living permanently in Zagreb. One thing which is very concerning for Zagreb residents, however, is the frequently very poor air quality.

Zagreb's fog is romantic and beautiful if you grew up in Northern Europe like I did, where the bright sunshine and sunburn of Dubrovnik isn't really the norm. The fog which clings heavily during the winter months causing the city I see from my balcony to turn into a blank white canvas isn't always as picturesque as it might seem, sometimes it's just smog. If you've ever spent any amount of time in London, you'll know that smog and fog are two quite different things indeed.

Just what type of air are we Zagreb residents actually breathing in? According to IQAir, it's far from the best. On Friday, it was the absolute worst.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the IQAir air quality index, Zagreb residents breathed the worst air in the entire European Union on Friday. Zagreb has an unimpressive score of just 151, reports Vecernji list, which means that the air being taken into the lungs of Zagreb residents on a daily basis is very unhealthy indeed.

Bișkek in Kyrgyzstan, which of course isn't European Union member state, can ''boast'' of having some of the most deeply polluted air at the moment. In addition to the analysis of the air quality of cities, the Swiss site IQAir publishes air quality by neighbourhood.

They stated that the worst air quality in Zagreb can be found in the Laniste area. This lack of quality air will be especially felt by those who belong to more vulnerable groups and those who have chronic lung conditions. The Croatian Environment and Nature Agency also states on its website that the air quality in Zagreb is indeed very, very poor. Data on the high concentration of pollutants was recorded by the station of the national network for the continuous monitoring of air quality.

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