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New air quality research project targets 24 busy points

09:15 10/10/2023

A new city survey will measure air quality at 24 busy points in the Belgian capital, aiming to determine just how polluted the air is at these traffic axes.

The ‘ExpAIR’ project comes from city movement Bral as a follow-up to the CurieuzenAir survey that took place two years ago, Bruzz reports.

Bral plans to work with 20 ambassadors, including Bruzz, and regularly share interim results for each measurement point over the course of the year.

Like CurieuzenAir, the survey will measure the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air, but this time over a whole year.

The amount of NO2 is also an indicator of the amount of particulate matter in the air, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases and respiratory damage.

The CurieuzenAir survey found that some 97% of Brussels residents breathe air with more nitrogen dioxide than the World Health Organisation recommends, and nearly 17,000 Brussels residents live in an area with a high risk concentration according to current European standards.

Bral now wants to investigate whether air quality has improved in the time since the survey and whether that improvement is evenly distributed across Brussels. It also wants to look at the effect of recently implemented traffic circulation plans.

The new measuring points complement the Brussels region's 17 official measuring stations. Bral is installing them along particularly busy traffic points such as Place Sainctelette, Porte de Flandre, Barrière de Saint-Gilles, Avenue Général Jacques and Boulevard Lambermont. They will remain there for a year.

ExpAIR is a collaboration with Brussels Environnement and some 20 Brussels organisations and companies. Those "ambassadors" include community centres, neighbourhood committees, cycling associations and football club Union Saint-Gilloise.

Written by Helen Lyons