Flanders, Belgium among the most polluted places in the world

Flanders in Belgium belongs to the most polluted places in the world. Belgium is one of the areas with the most pollution by nitrogen dioxide – or NO2 – in the world. Antwerp in particular is a problem region.

Coal-fired power stations in India, industrial clusters in China and cities with a lot of traffic such as Paris: that list also includes Antwerp.

The town belongs to the 50 places in the world that are most polluted by nitrogen dioxide. The reason is the combustion of fuels such as coal, diesel, petrol or gas.

Air pollution can be seen on a new map, compiled by experts at Greenpeace and the European Space Agency. The fact that Antwerp is part of the 50 ‘hotspots’ is mainly related to the port, although traffic also plays a major role. But not only in Antwerp the air is unhealthy: the whole of Flanders region colors red on the map.

Earlier, the Air Report of the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM) also revealed that our cities score badly in terms of air quality. At 13 of the 20 measuring points in Antwerp, the European limit of 40 micro-grams of nitrogen dioxide per cubic meter was exceeded. In Ghent this was the case for 9 of the 19 measuring points.

Since 2013, the World Health Organization has been officially classifying air pollution as a carcinogen. But also problems with the airways, cardiovascular diseases and even an increased risk of dementia are associated with unhealthy air. The VMM estimates the number of premature deaths from nitrogen dioxide annually from 1,800 to 3,600.

Want to see for yourself? try our Serinus60 Direct NO2 analyzer