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Genel Merkez 03.09.2019 (Son Güncelleme: 17.10.2019 17:14:37)

 Air Pollution Report 2018

The Chamber of Environmental Engineers publishes "Air Pollution Report" at the end of every year covering the assessment of the air quality in Turkey on year basis in order to draw attention to the air pollution problem in Turkey and also offer solutions about this problem. The Air Pollution Reports prepared yearly by the Chamber are based on open source data, available on the website of Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (, which are obtained from 313 air quality monitoring stations managed by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (MoEU). The data are assessed scientifically in the Air Pollution Reports in accordance with both national legislation and European Union (EU) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. This study also includes the information about those air quality monitoring stations. 

Air Pollution Report 2018 includes the assessment of air quality data obtained from the monitoring stations between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018. Air quality of Turkey`s most densely populated districts in Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir Provinces are specifically assessed in the report.

According to the WHO Reports, around 7 million people die every year as a result of exposure to air pollution. Approximately 4 million deaths worldwide can be attributed to the ambient (outdoor) air pollution while the remaining 3 million are caused by the indoor air pollution. In terms of children, the situation is even worse. Globally, 93% of the children under 15 years of age live in the places where ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels above WHO air quality guidelines. Almost 1 in 10 deaths in children under five years of age is attributable to the air pollution. WHO considers air pollution and climate change as the greatest environmental risk to health in 2019. The number of deaths due to the air pollution in Turkey is estimated by OECD as about 30 thousand per year.

In Air Pollution Report 2018, the number of days in the year when the limit values of the parameters (PM2.5, PM10, SO2, NO2, NOx, CO and O3) are exceeded and the annual average values of those parameters were examined in order to determine the regions with the most polluted air in Turkey. According to the data obtained on February 6, 2019;

• PM2.5 is measured at only 68 out of 313 stations. Of the 68 stations located in 39 provinces, no reliable data are obtained from the 47 stations (corresponding to 69%). The annual average limit values set by WHO were exceeded in all the stations with reliable data. The most polluted provinces in terms of PM2.5 are Amasya, Ankara, Artvin, Bartin, Bilecik, Bolu, Bursa, Canakkale, Corum, Edirne, Erzurum, Istanbul, Kocaeli, Ordu, Sakarya, Samsun, Sivas, Tekirdag, Trabzon, Yalova and Zonguldak.

• PM10 is measured at 219 stations. No reliable data are obtained from 38% of the 219 stations. Any comment cannot be made related with the air quality of the regions where the stations with no reliable data are located and nearly 20 million people live.

• Any air quality measurement was almost never be conducted during 2018 in an area of İstanbul where approximately 2 million people live, therefore the pollution level cannot be determined in the province. Also, no reliable data could not be obtained from the stations located in the districts of İstanbul province where 6 million people live. Enough data has not been collected in order to assess the air pollution level in the districts where approximately half of İstanbul population live.

• PM10 yearly limit values were exceeded in 45 of 81 provinces.  According to TURKSTAT data, 60 million of 82 million people in Turkey live in the places where reliable data are obtained, but PM10 average limit values are exceeded. The most polluted provinces in terms of PM10 are İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Kahramanmaraş – Elbistan, Erzurum – Doğubeyazıt, Ağrı – Taşhan, Iğdır, Bursa, Mersin, Bursa, Niğde, Erzincan, Denizli, Afyon ve Muğla.

• SO2 measurement is conducted hourly and daily at 213 stations located in 81 provinces. The most polluted provinces in terms of SO2 are İstanbul – Sutanbeyli, Adana-Doğankent, Edirne – Keşan, Ağrı – Doğubeyazıt, Kahramanmaraş, Yozgat, Manisa, Hakkari, Bitlis, Şanlıurfa ve Karabük. In these provinces the number of days and yearly average value exceeding national limit values were taken in to consideration. 

No reliable data could not be obtained from 44% of the stations. 30 million people live in the regions where there is no reliable data obtained from the stations. 

• According to NO2 data obtained from 173 stations located in 49 provinces, the most polluted regions are Adana-Doğankent, Amasya – Şehzade, Ankara Çankaya, Demetevler, Sıhhiye,Artvin – Hopa, Bursa – Beyazıt, Çorum – Bahabey, Erzincan - Trafik, Erzurum, İstanbul Aksaray, Beşiktaş, Çatladıkapı, Esenler, Göztepe, Kadıköy, Kartal, Mecidiyeköy, Selimiye, Şirinevler, Ümraniye, Üsküdar, İzmir – Şirinyeri. The annual average and the number of hours exceeding were taken in to consideration in the evaluation. It was determined that 12 stations were not working properly and 56% of all stations had no secure data reception.

• According to the annual NOX (nitrogen oxides) data of 173 stations located in 49 provinces, the most polluted provinces are Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Amasya, Balikesir, Corum, Edirne, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir Odunpazari, Igdir, Izmir Sirinyer, Karabuk, Tekirdag, Bursa, Kayseri, Kocaeli and Samsun. When determining these provinces, the number of days in which the national limit value was exceeded was examined among the regions where the data was reliable. It was determined that 57% of the stations did not receive reliable data.

• Although the data obtained from 101 stations in 41 provinces is low according to CO (carbon monoxide) data, air pollution is experienced in Istanbul Üsküdar, Şirinevler, Sultanbeyli.

• According to the O3 data of 125 stations in 44 provinces, 57% did not receive reliable data

According to the satellite data analyzed;

• There is a higher particulate matter in the atmosphere during summer months than winter months both in Euarope and Turkey.

• Particulate matter in Turkey has always been measured at higher levels than in Europe over the last 15 years. In other words atmosphere of Turkey is more polluted than Europe in terms of particulate matter in the atmosphere. This pollution is 33.4% higher in 2018 than in Europe.

• Particulate matter in European atmosphere decreases regularly over years.

• Particulate matter in the atmosphere in Turkey is increasing regularly over years.

• Particulate matter in the European atmosphere has decreased by 14.2% in the last 15 years

• Turkey particulate matter in the atmosphere has increased by 8.4% in the last 15 years.

• Particulate matter of Turkey in 2003 was measured as 5.6% higher than Europe in 2003 while 33.4% in 2018.

In the analysis conducted on the station data, it was found that the 90% data requirement that the stations had to provide were generally insufficient. It is also among our findings that almost all of our country is experiencing air pollution problems.

It can be evaluated on the basis of data that air pollution is a big problem in the regions where thermal power plants are located. It is noteworthy that no air quality measurements were conducted in 2018 despite the fact that there is a thermal power plant in Muğla Yatağan and many criticisms have been made about air pollution in this area. Instead of new thermal power plants, energy efficiency and renewable clean energy production should be focused on.

In our country where there are 7.5 million vehicles over 16 years of age, exhaust emissions of vehicles in traffic has a significant contribution to the air pollution.

It is very important to share the results of air quality measurement by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization with the public in a transparent way. Similarly, sharing data of health problems caused from air pollution by the Ministry of Health will increase the contribution of non-governmental organizations, academicians, private sector, public institutions and citizens towards the solution of air pollution. In 2019, it is recommended to pay more attention to the maintenance and calibration of air quality measuring stations. In addition, it is an urgent need to extend the measurement of the PM2.5 parameter, which directly affects lungs, widespread to all stations.

The main sources of air pollution problem in cities are urbanization policy, the construction of multi-storey buildings in the air corridors that will provide fresh air, the decrease in the amount of green spaces in the city centers, the lack of widespread use of comfortable, quick and cheap public transport, coal consumption for heating and natural inversion. In particular, it should not be ignored that dust pollution, which is defined as PM10 and PM2,5, cannot be based solely on the Sahara desert, and the increase in urban centers due to vehicle, heating and urbanization. Use natural gas or electricity for heating purposes should be made widespread by municipal governments. 

In addition to the policies, practices and inspections established by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the planning policy of local governments is also important for the solution of air pollution problem. It will be an important step for the solution that the mukhtar, candidates of municipality council member and mayor, who announced their targets and projects in the local government elections to be held on March 31, 2019, highlight the policies and concrete solution proposals that will produce solutions to the problem of air pollution.

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