There are many other cities that follow this example, so in closing, the air quality starts to show a clear decline in correlation with the winter months, with PM2. 5 levels rising in October and staying elevated until April or May of the following year. Has Croatia improved its air quality? With data available from the last few years, some comparisons can be made as to whether Croatia has improved its overall air quality. In 2018, Croatia came in with a yearly average PM2. 5 reading of 22. 18 μg/m³, which shows that its 2019 reading of 19.
The second most polluted city in Croatia, Lug, also followed a similar pattern, with a reading of 16. 3 μg/m³ in September rapidly climbing to 38. 5 μg/m³ in the following month. This reading, along with the 49. 8 μg/m³ taken in Slavonski Brod in December 2019, put the air quality rating into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which requires a PM2. 5 reading of anywhere between 35. 5 to 55. 4 μg/m³ for classification. As the name implies, the air quality during this time is of great detriment to vulnerable portions of the population, and can cause an unfortunate spike in deaths amongst the elderly, as well as lifelong damage to younger members of the population, with allergies arising, as well as permanent changes to pulmonary system and well as the nervous system all being possible.
There is such a prominent link that the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air can be used to directly correlate how much pollution is being caused by vehicles alone. So, in closing, these are the two main sources of pollution in Croatia. There are many other minor forms that also contribute, such as the building of infrastructure, construction sites and road repairs all adding to pollution levels as well as fine particulate matter in the air. During the colder months, many homes in rural areas or those built using traditional heating and cooking stoves and fireplaces built into them will go through large amounts of wood and charcoal, both of which can release a plethora of their own chemicals into the air, contributing even further to the pollution levels seen in the yearly average, as well as in the various cities registered across Croatia. When is air pollution at its worst in Croatia? Observing the data taken over the course of 2019, across the various cities registered in Croatia, there emerges a pattern of when the air quality is at its worst, and also when it starts to improve and show better levels.
As an example, any factories that deal in plastic goods, plastic casing or packaging, will inevitably leak some form of industrial effluence containing burnt plastic fumes. This applies to other industrial items as well, many of which can lead to dangerous compounds and even toxic metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury being released into the atmosphere, as well as the groundwater and food chain. Other sources of pollution that would contribute to the year round ambient readings of PM2. 5 would include the ever present use of vehicles. These are a constant elevator of pollution levels round the world, from the busiest cities to even the most remote islands. Cars and other personal vehicles such as motorbikes can put out large volumes of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), with nitrogen dioxide being the chief culprit when it comes to vehicular emissions. It is usually found in large concentrations in any area that sees a high volume of traffic.
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