How polluted is the air where you live?
Figures from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) have been analysed and quantified by data research agency, Local Focus. According to the figures, air pollution in the Netherlands slightly increased last year
Air quality in the Netherlands fell last year
The air in the Netherlands became slightly less clean last year and this is mainly due to an increase of tiny particles of dust in the air. Over the course of 2019, a 6 percent rise in particulate matter was recorded in the air compared to 2018. Researchers believe that this is related to the drought that the country suffered last year.
Pollution caused by particulate matter is also caused by cars and other types of vehicles, as well as by livestock farms. This explains why municipalities in agricultural areas tested higher for concentrations of particulate matter in the air.
While the concentration of particulate matter in the air is one indication of pollution levels, the level of nitrogen dioxide present is another. Nitrogen dioxide is a gas that is emitted from vehicle exhausts and is a particularly harmful substance. Thankfully, the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the air did decrease last year.
Air pollution in the Netherlands
The North of the Netherlands remained relatively clean in terms of air pollution. However, since a large contributor to particulate matter is the agricultural industry, it makes sense that municipalities in agricultural areas, such as Nederweert, Ede and Barneveld, had high levels of this substance. Nitrogen dioxide is emitted primarily from exhausts and industry fumes, which explains why cities like Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Schiedam tested high for levels of the gas.
Both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide can be seriously detrimental to human health and can cause respiratory problems. Luckily, the values of both substances remained below the European standard for almost all of the Netherlands last year and the RIVM expects the concentration of both substances to decrease in the coming years.
In terms of nitrogen dioxide, Rotterdam, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Rijswijk and Amsterdam had the highest levels in the Netherlands, ranging from 25,2 to 27 micrograms per metre cubed of air. When we look at particulate matter, Nederweert, Amsterdam, Renswoude and Den Hague had the highest levels, ranging from 20,9 to 21,4 micrograms per metre cubed.