Saturday, September 29, 2018

Belgium Air Pollution

20,000 Belgiums have taken part in a citizen science project to measure air pollution in Flanders (the northern region of the country). For the project volunteers installed air quality sensors on a street facing window of their homes. These sensors measured NO2 levels during all of May 2018.

You can view the results of the project on the Curieuze Neuzen Vlaanderen interactive map. The map uses colored circles to show the amount of NO2 measured by each of the 20,000 air quality sensors. The map reveals that air pollution levels can vary widely from street to street. In general air quality in Flanders is pretty good. However there are areas with lots of air pollution, mostly in cities and the larger towns.

Antwerp stands out with nearly the whole city showing worrying levels of air pollution. The pollution is particularly poor in narrow streets with lots of traffic. However even small towns often have locations where NO2 levels are high. These tend to be in areas with lots of stop-start road traffic, such as roundabouts, busy crossroads and traffic lights.

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