Last update: Saturday, May 25, 2019

Quality of air- NO2 dhe SO2 Indicators

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Air pollutants may be dust particles, chemicals or biological materials which have negative effects over human organisms, environment or atmosphere. Some of the most important groups of quality of air indicators are:

Ų  SO2, NOx and NH3 (amoniac), which cause the acid rains;

Ų  CO2, CH4 (methane) and NO2, which are related to the gas emmissions ;

Ų  PM10, LNP, which show the level of solid particles in the air.

Each of these indicators is caused by different factors. Historically the main air pollutants in Albania have been the industry of chromium, copper, steel, cement, TEC-s, etc. Starting from the 90-s a large number of these factories closed down. Consequently, in recent years pollution has come primarily from the extraction and processing of oil, production of cement, uncontrolled burning of the waste, and the increase of the transport industry.


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)

 
Data on  NO2 dhe SO2

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) are components of smog and causes of acid rains. They are created by the burning of coal, oil and its derivates. Each one of tehm penetrates very easily human organism and can cause lung diseases, increase the chance of receiving viruses, eye irritation or skin diseases. Through interaction with the sun and water these two gases transform into acids which come back to earth as acid rain or snow.

In Albania, the allowed level of these gases are determined by the Council of Minister’s Decision nr. 803, date 4.12.2003, “On the approval of the air quality norms”. The allowed level for each indicator is 60 μg/m3/year or about 50% higher than the level allowed by the Europian Union which has an average of  40 μg/m3 .


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)

 
The presence of NO2 in urban areas comes as a result of increased traffic. A quick analysis would determine that the presence of NO2 is below the level set by the Albanian Government, and also below the one set by the  Europian Union. Tirana leads the list of the most polluted cities, then come Durres and Fier. The 2009 Environment Report of the Ministry of Environment indicates that the area know and 21 Dhjetori is above the allowed level by 12 μg/m3 or 30%.
 
The presence of SO2 is also within the allowed limits. Fier continues to have a high presence of SO2, and also Elbasan, as a result of the industries that have been concentrated in these two cities. The presence of SO2 is also below the average of the European union, and a great contributor to this is the fact that most of our energy comes from hydropower sources. Construction of coal TEC-s would automatically change the level of SO2.


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)

 
The graph shows that the current situation does not appear problematic. Nevertheless it is worth to point out that Albania is still at relatively high levels despite not being an industrialized country. This means that whoever is currently polluting in Albania is doing it at very high levels.

Furthermore, the data on these indicators is an average of all urban areas, including the suburbs which lower these averages. In other words, the center of the cities and the areas with heavy traffic have a very high level of gas and smog. As a result the goal should not be an overall average below the limits of the European Union, but rather a level below 40 μg/m3 for every area.

Lastly, the Ministry of environment must focus also in the cities which are impacted by factories in their vicinity such as Kruja for example. The pollution indicators must be also measured in these cities, which should be subject to the same legal requirements for the protection of environment as the big cities.

All the information is presented in the following graph:


Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)



Source: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration
Comments and Analysis: Opern Data Albania (ODA)




Excel datasets : XML, N3 datasets :
    Contributer: Blerta Zilja, M.Sc
    Translated by: ODA