Sarajevo and Belgrade among the most polluted world capitals

Belgrade and Sarajevo among the most polluted world capitals; Photo: Thomas Millot for Unsplash

BELGRADE – Over the past few weeks, Western Balkan capitals have appeared among the top-ranked cities when it comes to air pollution. Belgrade and Sarajevo topped the daily rankings of the most polluted cities in the world several times over the past few months.

According to the Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) for January 13, Sarajevo holds the fourth place on the list of the most polluted cities in the world. The quality of air in Sarajevo has been marked “very unhealthy”, with PM10 and PM2.5 particles in concentrations above recommended.

Due to an alarming air quality situation, the police in Sarajevo have started applying the ban on vehicles with the Euro 2 norm, from traffic today, advising citizens to wear pollution masks and banning the use of solid fuels and heavy oils. The local government in the Canton of Sarajevo has allowed “the suspension of school activities if needed.”

According to data from metering stations, the average air pollution index in Sarajevo, measured just after 10 hours, was 239, which puts it at the top of the most polluted cities in the world.

In Belgrade, which has topped the world rankings several times since last October, the air on January 13th has been stated “unhealthy”. 

Serbia ranks first in Europe and ninth in the world for pollution-related deaths, according to a study recently released by the Global Alliance in Health and Pollution (GAHP), an international body made of experts and observers that advocates for resources and solutions to pollution problems, reports ANSA.

According to GAHP’s “2019 Pollution and Health Metrics: Global, Regional and Country Analysis,” Serbia made it to the top ten countries in the world in terms of premature deaths attributed to pollution, with around 12.300 deaths in 2017, which stands for the latest dataset.

Chad tops the list, followed by the Central African Republic, North Korea, Niger, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, and Somalia.