Better air quality in Paola throughout pandemic

Decreased traffic brought on by the pandemic provided a decrease in nitrogen dioxide for Paola residents

The year of the pandemic provided an increase in air quality for the residents of Paola, monitoring statistics show.

According to information put forward in a parliamentary question, the concentration of nitrogen dioxide at Triq Kordin and Triq Ħal Luqa dropped suddenly in 2020 compared to previous years. 

In 2014, nitrogen dioxide concentration in Triq Kordin stood at 60.6 µg/m3 (microgram per cubic metre), subsequently dipping to 53.9 µg/m3 in 2020.

At Triq Ħal Luqa, the presence of nitrogen dioxide halved between 2014 and 2020, falling from 50.4 µg/m3 to 23.9 µg/m3.

Nitrogen dioxide concentration was steadily decreasing at Triq Ħal Luqa between 2014 and 2020, even reaching 24.1 µg/m3 well before the pandemic in 2018.

However, concentration at Triq Kordin remained high throughout the six-year period, reaching its highest level of 63.7 µg/m3 in 2019.

Benzene, used as a starting material to make plastics and detergents, also fell in concentration throughout the years.  In 2014, benzene concentration stood at 3.6 µg/m3 and 3.0 µg/m3 at Triq Kordin and Triq Ħal Luqa respectively.

By 2020, benzene concentration fell to 1 µg/m3 at Triq Ħal Luqa.

Benzene statistics for Triq Kordin stop at 2019, with a concentration of 1.9 µg/m3.

The statistics were provided by Minister Aaron Farrugia on behalf of the Environment Ministry, in response to a parliamentary question posed by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi.