STA, 21 March 2020 - Even though public life in Slovenia all but ground to a halt on Monday in a bid to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the Environment Agency (ARSO) has not detected any improvement in air quality.
The biggest source of air pollution in the country is coarse particulate matter (PM10) from household solid fuel boilers, whose contribution in the given situation is not smaller, but possibly even bigger, said ARSO.
Air in Slovenia is as a rule at its best in spring or autumn and limit values of pollutants are rarely exceeded at this time of year.
"Comparing air particle pollution this week and the week before, particle levels this week are generally slightly higher than last week, which is a result of meteorological conditions," said ARSO.
Slovenia has enjoyed a spell of stable warm sunny weather, which also means temperature inversion for the greater part of the morning as a result of which morning particle values are elevated.
As for the impact of the suspension of public transportation and air flights and a reduction in commuter traffic, ARSO says this could be reflected mainly in emissions of nitrogen oxides, but this type of pollution is not problematic in Slovenia.
Moreover, monitoring also shows that it is too early to draw any conclusions on the impact of the shutdown on NOx levels.
ARSO noted that industry contributed only a small portion of air pollution recorded by its monitoring stations, so they could speak of a reduction in emissions.