Air Pollution

Air pollution

Air pollution should not be confused with global warming which is caused by CO2. According to the new norms introduced by the World Health Organization, many developed countries do not have a single region with clean air. Many other countries are also moving in this direction of decreasing air quality.

The air you breathe is not local. For example here in the Netherlands, 32% of all air pollution comes from abroad. If you would take out all farmers, industry and traffic some natural areas are still above the norm for healthy nature.

You can take measures locally, but it will not be enough.

32%

The NOx problem

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are a major contributor in the global issue of air pollution. These gasses contain compounds of nitrogen and oxygen, causing a variety of specific problems.

Destruction of habitat

Acid rain, smog and overfertilisation causes destruction of habitats where millions of species are threatened.

Pollution

Indoor and outdoor pollution causes problems to the respiratory system and can be measured in years of reduction in lifespan.

Global warming

While concentrations of the N2O gas are low, it is 300x more potent per molecule than CO2. Resulting in a 6% contribution to global warming.

NOx in the Netherlands​

With the highest NOx concentration of Europe the stikstof crisis is a topical problem, causing destruction of nature and impacting the economy and wellbeing of humans. The Netherlands had to implement the following measures.

Buying out farms

The government set a target to reduce the number of farms and implemented NOx reduction measures, like changing food. This has caused farmers to protest multiple times.

Halting construction

Rule: “0 net NOx deposition on nature areas during construction or lifetime use”. Which causes problems for around 50% of the construction sites in the Netherlands.

Reduction of speedlimit

20 million cost for replacing signs and software, not counting the economic impact of longer travel times. The effect of this measure is 0,13% total NOx budget.