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Air quality

Air emissions that affect air quality 

Air pollutants, or impurities in the air, refer to particles and gases from different emission sources that have a harmful effect on people’s health and living environment. Particle pollution is formed when fuel is burned in vehicle engines, in energy generation and in industrial processes. Air masses can carry particulate matter for thousands of kilometres until it descends with the rain. 

The most significant gaseous air pollutants are sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NO+NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and total reduced sulphur (TRS). Additionally, various industrial processes release many kinds of harmful emissions, such as heavy metals and various gaseous compounds. 

Emission sources that decrease air quality include, for example, traffic emissions and road dust, energy generation, industrial manufacture, small-scale wood burning and long-range transboundary air pollution. 

In Kajaani, emissions have been reduced and air quality has improved – regular air monitoring is no longer necessary 

For almost 30 years, Kajaani’s air quality was continuously monitored. The measurements were taken in cooperation with industrial and energy production plants. The continuous monitoring of air quality ended at the beginning of 2019 when the threshold value for pollutants had not been exceeded for years. Industrial operators and energy production plants continue to monitor their own emissions by carrying out their own measurements. Smaller operators monitor their emissions through scheduled measurements. 

In future, Kajaani’s air quality can be monitored using, for example, the atmospheric dispersion model, scheduled measurements or bioindicator studies, which reveal the long-term effects of air pollution in nature. Of course, if emissions in Kajaani increase significantly, the monitoring can be started again.