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You are here: Home / The European environment – state and outlook 2010 / Country assessments / Latvia / Air pollution - State and impacts (Latvia)

Air pollution - State and impacts (Latvia)

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SOER Common environmental theme from Latvia
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Exceedance of air quality limit values in urban areas

Particulate matter (PM10)

Preliminary data for the centre of the capital city, Riga, from 2004 to 2008 indicate that the mean annual concentration of PM10 exceeds the limit value for the protection of human health. Meanwhile, at urban and rural stations throughout Latvia limit values for human health protection were not exceeded (Figure 1).

Several of the recorded 24-hour PM10 values in Riga and Liepaja were also above the limit value (Figure 2).

 

Air1_PM_annual

 Figure 1: Annual average PM10 concentrations (annual limit value is 40 μg/m3)

Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre

 

Air2_PM_days

Figure 2: Number of days on which the PM10 daily limit value for human health protection (50 μg/m3) was exceeded (limit may not be exceeded more than 35 times per calendar year).

Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre

 

Latvia began measuring PM2.5 in 2008 in the Riga metropolitan area, at Milgravis and Brivibas Street stations and at other stations across Latvia (Ventspils and Liepaja).

 

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

Annual average limit values of nitrogen dioxide for human health protection in Latvia were only exceeded at one traffic station in Riga (Valdemara Street). During 2008, nitrogen dioxide concentrations reached the limit value (44 μg/m3) for the protection of human health (within the margin of tolerance) (Figure 3).

 

Air3_NO2

Figure 3: Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) annual average concentration (annual limit value is 40 μg/m3)

Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre

 

Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone

Deposition from the atmosphere is a major indicator of precipitation, ambient air quality and ecosystem status. Between 2004 and 2008, there was no significant change in the total deposition of sulphur and nitrogen at Latvian rural background stations (Figure 4).

 

Air4_Deposition_S_N

Figure 4: Total deposition (mg/m2 year) of sulphur (Stot) and nitrogen (Ntot) at the rural background stations Rucava and Zoseni

Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre

 

The computed area at risk of eutrophication covers all ecosystems in Latvia, but the area at risk of acidification is 16 % of the total ecosystem area (Figure 5).

  Air5_ecosyst_damage

  Figure 5: Damage to Latvian ecosystems as a result of acidification and eutrophication

Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre

 

 

Air6_AOTindex

 

Figure 6: AOT40 index, rural background station Rucava

Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre

 

Assessment of the impact of surface ozone on vegetation using the internationally-recognised AOT40 index shows that the critical level (6 000 µg/m3×h) was exceeded at the Rucava rural background station in 2006 and 2008 (Figure 6). In 2006, observations of visible ozone damage to white clover under the ICP Vegetation programme registered a medium degree of leaf damage (5–25 %). During the period 2004–2008, there was no exceedance of the target value (18 000 µg/m3×h) for the protection of vegetation[1]


[1] Air Quality Annual Report 2008 (in English and Latvian)


 

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