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Black fog over Balkans: 5.400 Serbs die a year from the lethal air. One country is safe, and it's the worse in these cities (PHOTO)

Almost all states in the Balkan region, except Croatia, have high percentage of air pollution

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It is a normal occurrence in the Balkan that the cities have increased the level of air pollution after the arrival of winter and cold weather. The consequences are manifested in the form of thick fog and smogThree capitals in the former Yugoslav countries recorded a high level of air pollution this winter - Sarajevo, Podgorica, and Skopje. 

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Air pollution occurs when gases and microscopic particles of soot and dust are released into the Earth's atmosphere, causing a change in the natural relationship and concentration of the basic components of the air. Sometimes these particles reach the atmosphere naturally, for example, by the release of volcanic eruptions and natural fires. However, it is much more common for them to get into the atmosphere as a result of human activities.

Transport and industry are the main sources of air pollution. During combustion of different forms of fuel in engines or factories, besides energy release, a large number of harmful substances, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ash, and soot, are released.

Foto: Tanjug/FENA/Almir Razic

People pollute the air in many ways: burning forests to create space for agricultural land, driving cars and planes, working in factories and thermal power plants, combustion of domestic heating. Basically, almost all forms of aero-pollution are the need of a man for energy that comes from the burning of wood, coal, oil, or natural gas.


Environmentalists collected data and ranked 135 countries around the world at the level of environmental pollution at the beginning of the year, and maps showed that Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) were the most polluted in Europe, while Serbia ranks with Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine.

The ranking was based on five factors from the environment: energy consumption per capita, carbon dioxide emissions from combustion of fuels, air pollution levels, deaths related to air pollution and the production of renewable energy sources.

Rankings and maps are designed to combine different parameters and stimulate the fight against climate changes.

Foto: AP/Tanjug

According to the data, the most polluted country in Europe is Luxembourg, which suffers from serious air pollution from neighboring countries, and Bulgaria and BiH are precisely at level with Luxembourg.

The least polluted in Europe are Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Britain, and Sweden. Serbia, Ukraine, Poland, Belgium, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, and Armenia are in the risk category, these countries are close the top countries with the most polluted air.

The most polluted country in the world is Saudi Arabia, followed by Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Turkmenistan, Libya, Kazakhstan. The least polluted countries in the world are Kenya, Mozambique, and Ethiopia because industrialization did not take place at large scales in these countries so the air is quite clean.

Foto: Tanjug/AP

Up to 92 percent of the world's population lives in places or cities where the level of air pollution exceeds the limit prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO) standards. According to their data, air pollution is responsible for the death of more than 6 million a year.

Almost all states in the Balkan region, except Croatia, have a high percentage of air pollution.


The degree of air pollution in BiH is about four and a half times the limit set by the WHO, which has a negative impact on human health, but also on the fauna and flora of the world. Therefore, it became common to receive news of a high degree of pollution in Sarajevo every new winter, and geographical position is not in favor of it- Sarajevo is surrounded by mountains in the basin.

Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Lukavac were among the most polluted cities in Europe in the past few days, and the pollution mortality in BiH is 2,000% higher than in the US.

Foto: Nedim Grabovica/ Klix.ba

The index of air quality in the Ilidza area during the day yesterday was 167, and it was lower towards the center of the city, but it was still above the allowed. The air quality index on Otoka was 59, and n the city center 63.

Dangerous pollution was also recorded in Tuzla, where the air quality index is 214. The most polluted air is in Lukavac with a quality index of 223.

Due to air pollution in BiH in 2012, 231 deaths per 100,000 deaths were recorded, while in the United States 12.1, which implies that in BiH, the death rate is 2.000% higher than in the US.


According to AQICN measurements, the air pollution higher than the cities in BiH was only recorded in Bitola, Macedonia.

So, in mid-December, a photo of the incredible scene arrived from Skopje - the tops of the buildings looked like they were in the clouds. Air pollution in Skopje during this period was ten times higher than allowed, according to the measurement stations.

Foto: Profimedia/AFP

The maximum limit prescribed by the European Union for the presence of PM10 particles (particle diameter smaller than 10 micrometers) in the air is 50 micrograms, and in the Skopje suburb of Karposh, 383 PM particles were measured per cubic meter.

The air smelled of burning plastic, and Skopje, but also Tetovo, Kumanovo, and Bitola, have been facing with great pollution for years.

City authorities in Skopje, in order to reduce the level of pollution in the previous period, sprayed the street with a special chemical, introduced free city transport and a system of even-odd, but the results were absent.


Increased pollution of PM10 particles was recorded in Podgorica in November, according to a report by the Montenegrin Environmental Protection Agency.

- The average concentrations of suspended PM10 particles during four days in November were above the prescribed limit value, the report said.

Foto: AP/Tanjug

Measurements show that the highest concentration of PM10 particles was recorded on November 26 and amounted to 94.59 micrograms per cubic meter.

The prescribed limit value of PM10 particles in the air is 50 micrograms per cubic meter, and this value should not exceed more than 35 times a year.

Apart from Podgorica, according to the Agency, Pljevlja is the city with the biggest problems related to air pollution, originating from Thermal Power Plant, coal mine, dumps and boiler plants for coal.


The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 5,400 people die of air pollution each year in Serbia, according to the head of the WHO European Center in Bonn for Environment and Health, Elizabet Paunovic, in September.

The darkest points are Belgrade, Valjevo, and Uzice. The polluted air, besides damaging the lungs, is increasing the risk of brain or heart attack.

Prinstkrin: amskv.sepa.gov.rs

With the arrival of cold days and starting of the heating season, the air in Belgrade is getting more polluted with each passing day.

According to the latest data of the Environmental Protection Agency, the air is in the fourth of five pollution levels in three locations where measurements were made: in the Old Town, in the Despot Stefan Boulevard, and in New Belgrade.

The air is good on the Mostar Intersection, and excellent in Vracar and Zeleno Brdo on Zvezdara.

(Telegraf.co.uk / L.C.)

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