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Tampere has second cleanest air in European city ranking

Efforts to fight climate change have improved overall air quality over the past 30 years, but many cities still do not meet European standards.

Tammerkoski ja patosilta
Industrial city Tampere has second cleanest air quality in Europe Image: Matias Väänänen / Yle

Tampere has been ranked as having the second highest air quality by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which surveyed the air quality of 326 cities across Europe.

Sweden's city of Umeå was at the top of the list, with Tampere a very close second, according to the report.

The study examined the concentrations of fine particulate matter which were measured over the course of two years. Fine particulate levels are increased, for example, by transport and industrial activity.

The survey was based on the amount of tiny particulate matter in the air, measured by micrograms-per-cubic-metre. Air is considered cleaner when numbers are lower. All of the study's findings can be viewed here.

Eastern Europe grazing the limits of clean air

The EEA said that overall efforts to combat climate change have contributed to air quality improvements over the past three decades. However, it noted that there were cities in Europe where the air quality still did not meet EU standards.

The EU has stated that fine particulate concentrations should not exceed 25 micrograms per cubic meter, noting that higher levels can pose risks to public health.

The report also noted that cities in some Eastern European countries were not meeting the bloc's air quality standards. Several cities in Poland, for example, have particulate readings that met or exceeded the 25-microgram level.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Italy were also represented at the bottom of the rankings.

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