GlobalCar-free Sunday: up to half as much nitrogen monoxide in Brussels air

Car-free Sunday: up to half as much nitrogen monoxide in Brussels air

Concretely, nitric oxide concentrations were between 44 and 95% lower yesterday than on an average Sunday and between 66 and 98% lower than on an average weekday. Black carbon decreased by 58 and 66%, respectively, while nitrogen dioxide saw its concentration decrease, respectively, by 44 to 77% and 60 to 86%.

”The busiest roads in the capital were the most impacted. At the Régent analysis station (small belt), for example, the concentrations of NO and NO2 fell by 95 and 77% respectively compared to an average Sunday. An even more marked drop if we compare with an average weekday. The concentrations of NO and NO2 then melted by 98 and 86% respectively, details Bruxelles Environnement.

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Just as logically, the noise has also almost disappeared from a city without its thermal engines for a day. “Compared to the Sunday before the operation, significant reductions were observed. They are greater than 20 dB (A) for the station located near the E40 motorway in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, i.e. a reduction in sound pressure of 99%. They are quite significant, 3.5 and 8 dB (A) for the stations on Chaussée de Wavre in Auderghem and Avenue Houba de Strooper in Brussels. That’s a reduction in background noise of 50 to 84%.”

According to the latest report from the European Environment Agency, exposure to PM 2.5, NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and O3 (ozone) alone caused 5,330 premature deaths in 2020 in Belgium. Between 2019-2022, the annual concentration of nitrogen dioxide decreased by 10% per year on average.

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