What do we breathe in the Vysočina Region?

Press release

Brno, 24 November 2021

What do we breathe in the Vysočina Region?

The results of the largest measurement phase to date, which will start in January next year, will largely try to answer this question.

Air quality is one of the most important factors that affect the quality of life of the region’s residents. In addition to industry, domestic heating and car transport produce a large share of the pollution. They both release Benzo[a]pyrene, which is a proven human carcinogen, into the atmosphere. Benzo[a]pyrene is part of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon class of chemicals, which generally have serious effects on human health. Its concentration in the air at many air pollution monitoring stations in the Czech Republic exceed the limit set by Act No. 201/2012 Coll.

Kde je ovzduší znečistěné, ukáže expertní měření.

The Centre for Transport Research, a public research institution, has started work on the project „Detailed monitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in connection with the Program for the Improvement of Air Quality in the Southeast Zone CZ06Z 2020+ (PAUPZKO)“, which is supported by Call-2A "Tromso" within the program "Environment, Ecosystems and Climate Change", supported by Norway Grants. Preparatory work began in May and the project will be completed in April 2024.

"Our environmental experts will carry out detailed monitoring and the evaluation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations, including the aforementioned carcinogenic Benzo[a]pyrene, in selected locations in the South Moravia Region," said Roman Ličbinský, the Director of Sustainable Transport and Transport Construction Diagnostics for the Centre for Transport Research.

Evaluation of results and elaboration of action plans

The measurement data will undergo a very detailed professional assessment. "Based on the results, we will prepare action plans and proposals for specific measures to reduce Benzo[a]pyrene concentrations," said Jakub Bucek of Bucek, L.L.C., which has expertise in testing.

How will the measurements take place?

"We will take measurements during two heating seasons and one non-heating season," said Radek Vít on behalf of the team of experts from the CDV. "In addition to measuring the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, other pollutants will be measured in selected municipalities, namely SO2, NO, NO2, NOx, CO, O3, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1,“ Determining the concentrations of these other pollutants will provide more information about the air quality of a given location and thus help to more accurately identify the sources of the air pollution.

Where will the testing take place?

Municipalities and cities were selected by representatives of the Regional Office of the Vysočina Regionn, in cooperation with the Centre for Transport Research and Bucek, L.L.C. Selections were primarily based on the Air Quality Improvement Plan prepared by the Ministry of the Environment. Also taken into account was the predominant form of heating for households in the villages, the number of inhabitants, and the nature of the landscape. Water-protection zones and multiple types of other protected areas were also considered.

“Following the Air Quality Improvement Program, we are currently working on a timetable for implementing measures in the local heating sector to reduce Benzo[a]pyrene air pollution. We examined the possibilities for providing financial support in the form of subsidies or interest-free loans from our own financial resources for the installation of additional storage tanks for solid-fuel boilers with a heat input of up to 300 kW, but we concluded that we will not currently provide our own funds due to the nonconceptual solutions for 10 selected municipalities within the PZKO. The subsidy would not be nationwide, but regional. The Vysočina Region, through the Vysočina Fund, will prepare a subsidy program with financial resources that would invest in the implementation of measures to improve air quality with the maximum effect based on the accurate and exact measurements proposed within the PAUPZKO project," said Ing. Lukáš Vlček, the Deputy Governor of the Vysočina Region for Forestry and Water Management, Agriculture, and Environment

Involvement of cities and municipalities

Černovice is one of the places where air quality will be measured. "Involving our city in the project opens up the opportunity for us to find out what we are breathing in our area and to respond accordingly," said Černovice mayor Jan Brožek. Other towns and villages of the Vysočina Region are joining the project.


The Transport Research Centre

Mgr. Roman Ličbinský, Ph.D.

Contact for media:
Šárka Želinská, tel. 778 737 336, e-mail: sarka.zelinska@cdv.cz

More about the topic

The research of the Centre for Transport Research, a public research institution, covers the key needs of transport development in the Czech Republic at the national, regional, and local levels.

It deals with classic fields, such as road safety; the technology of construction; the maintenance, repairs, and reconstruction of transport infrastructure, including the geotechnical aspects and diagnostics of transport structures; the impacts of transport and its infrastructure on the environment; transport economics; multimodal transport; transport psychology; education in transport; the modelling of transport demand; management systems; geographic information systems; parking systems; telematic control systems; and more.