Air pollutants lead to around 30,000 premature deaths in Germany every year ( https://www.healthdata.org/). The most health-relevant air pollutants in everyday life are:
- Particulate matter: Solid and liquid particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5). Small particles in particular penetrate deep into the lungs and can trigger chronic inflammatory reactions. Very small particles (ultra-fine dust) are capable of being absorbed into the blood stream. Various diseases, including heart attacks, strokes and even dementia, have been associated with particulate matter.
- Ozone (O3): A colorless gas that is formed in the air from precursor substances through photochemical reactions in sunlight. Ozone has a strong irritant effect on the mucous membranes, nose, and respiratory tract and can trigger chronic inflammation. Precursors fases such as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons are emitted from natural and anthropogenic sources and can lead to the formation of ground-level Ozone. Ground-level ozone has negative impacts on plants and crop production.
- Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): In hight concnetrations NO2 is a redish-brown trace gas which is a strong irritant on the mucous membranes.NO2 is mainly produced during combustion processes (e.g. traffic, heating, industry)
Using numerical models we estimate an individual's exposure for the present day and future. Below you will find daily forecasts of ground-level air quality over southern Germany. The forecasts where generated by the Chair using the high-performace computer (LICCA) at the University of Augsburg's Computer Centre.