In terms of air quality, Hungary has got critical results based on the freshly published ranking of IQ Air, according to which six Hungarian settlements have been listed among the 200 most polluted cities in Europe. But which are these and what is the reason behind it?!
As we previously reported, poor air quality is a recurring problem in Hungary. As a result, certain traffic restrictions are introduced every year to reduce air pollution in major Hungarian settlements. Despite all these efforts, Hungary has received bad news again in terms of air quality. Within the framework of the freshly published ranking of IQ Air – based on 2020 data -, thousands of European settlements were examined, out of which six Hungarian cities got listed among the 200 most polluted cities in Europe.
The worst result was measured in Sajószentpéter, which was placed 62nd in the European ranking.
The Hungarian settlement is preceded by cities in Balkan countries and in Poland, and Milan, Las Palmas, and the Serbian Novi Sad also achieved even worse results. The Hungarian city of Miskolc is also listed among the worst 100, where there was only one month – last June – when the concentration of airborne dust did not exceed the WHO health limit.
The deterioration of the air quality of these settlements can be explained by an increase in the concentration of airborne dust, which is generated by heating.
Therefore, it is no coincidence that Sajószentpéter was only able to meet the health limit set by WHO in the spring and summer periods. The list of the 200 most polluted European cities also includes Kazincbarcika (107th), Szeged (184th), Debrecen (181st), and Nyíregyháza (198th). Budapest is ranked 280th, according to the IQ Air 2020 summary.
Some positive news is that among the examined Hungarian settlements, Balassagyarmat had the best air quality where the annual average concentration of airborne dust was below the WHO limit and did not even exceed it during eight months of the year. Even though the annual average concentration was above the limit in the case of Sarród, Sopron, and Kecskemét, the air quality in these Hungarian settlements also received positive results.
As Hungarian news portal Pénzcentrum reports, considering the pandemic, the quality of air has a significant role: a previous study found that long-term exposure to air pollution could increase the risk of death from coronavirus infection worldwide by 15%. Therefore, we hope that the air quality result of 2020 will improve this year.