The air pollution remains in many German regions is higher than allowed. In at least 35 cities the EU limit value for harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which originates primarily from Diesel exhaust gases has been exceeded, in the past year. The first balance sheet of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

the preliminary NO2-annual mean values of 399 measuring stations that report their data automatically to the authorities, were Evaluated. In may, the data from 166 stations should be available that require manual evaluation.

Among the evaluated stations, the load in “Stuttgart/At Neckartor was” with 71 micrograms of NO2 per cubic meter of air at the highest – “of Munich Landshuter Allee” with 66 micro-grams. In third place a further Station from Stuttgart lands, followed by values from Kiel, Cologne and Hamburg.

In the graphic below, you can see by Clicking on the points, as high nitrogen oxide values at measurement stations in their Region. The EU limit is 40 micrograms of NO2 per cubic meter of air, annual average.

Where was 2018, the NO2 exceeded the limit?

Total declining NO-2Belastung

but There are also good news: Overall, the air pollution caused by Diesel has decreased emissions slightly in the last year – in the middle of the measuring stations close to traffic for about two micrograms per cubic meter. There were 2017, 45 percent of these stations have high values, they were in 2018, according to a projection by the Federal environment Agency 39 percent. The binding limit value in 2010.

besides the measuring stations close to traffic, all other, decreased the NO2-values in comparison to 2017, almost everywhere slightly or remained the same. At 13 stations, however, higher concentrations than in the previous year measured, including

Limburg differences, Nuremberg (Van-der-Tann-Strasse) and Dortmund (Brackeler road).

Two stations, to which in 2017 the allowable limit value of 40 micrograms per cubic meter was observed, reported to 2018, to exceed: Koblenz (high street) and Leipzig (Lützner Straße), each with 42.

More about fact check, such As harmful dust and nitrogen oxides are fine?

ozone increased values

Also, when particulate matter (PM10) decreases the load for the First time since 2005, the limits for 2018 were not exceeded in any Metropolitan area. 35 days in the year, the load in excess of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Only an industry-oriented station in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia Lünen level of 36 days of higher values.

For the UBA but that is no reason for complacency, as the world health organization WHO recommends a value of 20 micrograms.

the concentration of ozone is Increased. In the record summer of 2018, has been exceeded, according to the UBA, the long – term objective for the protection of health – namely, not more than 120 micro-grams per cubic meter, averaged over eight hours-on all 265 measuring stations, for an average of 37 days per Station. It was “unusually often”, it said.

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bans in Frankfurt, Berlin and Köln

reasons for the decline in urban NO2 pollution, according to UBA, speed limits and traffic restrictions, more new cars, Software Updates for better exhaust gas cleaning older Diesel, but also the weather. What has contributed to the reduction, to the office, solely on the basis of the measurement data cannot be determined.

NO2 in cities comes from Diesel exhaust (a fact check on the subject of nitrogen oxides, you can read here). Thus, the first driving be justified bans in cities. In Hamburg, were already blocked in the past year, sections of road for an older Diesel, in Stuttgart, you’ll be banished for the turn of the year from all over the city.

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More cities – including Frankfurt, Berlin and Cologne to follow this year. The German environmental aid Association had enforced the restrictions in court.

“With current measures, it will take too long to”

The Federal government tries to support programs and improvements of older diesel cars to counteract. In addition, the car should be the owner with the premiums for the purchase of cleaner cars moved.

UBA President Maria Krautzberger said, the technology as well as the legal regime for the Hardware to retrofit older Diesel with catalysts since, and would now need to come quickly. “With the current measures it will take too long until we have clean air.”


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.