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Benzo(a)pyrene concentrations

Last update of indicator16.01.2024

Indicator definition

The indicator describes the level of air pollution in Slovakia, i.e. the fulfillment of the target values of air pollution for  benzo(a)pyrene.




Related policy documents and targets

Limit values for assessing the level of air pollution according to Decree of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic no. 250/2023 Coll. on air quality

Target values for benzo(a)pyrene

Pollutant Target value 1)
Benzo(a)pyrene 1 ng/m3

1) For the total content in the fraction of PM10 particles on average for a calendar year

Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) was approved by the UN General Assembly (including Slovakia) in September 2015 ("Transforming our world: Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development") and represents the most comprehensive set of global priorities for achieving sustainable development to date. The 2030 Agenda builds on the UN Millennium Declaration from 2000 and calls on states to take a coordinated approach to solving global challenges. The goals of sustainable development that it sets concern all countries of the world, regardless of their level of economic and social development. Its key principles are transformation, integration, and universality. It contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed into 169 related sub-goals, which aim to guide the structural political, economic, and social transformation of individual countries in the world in response to the threats facing humanity today. It connects all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. The 2030 Agenda is not legally binding. It expresses the intention of countries to lead their development towards sustainability and to set their national policies, strategies, and planning to contribute to the achievement of global goals. The Slovak Republic signed up for the implementation of Agenda 2030 in the document "Starting points for the implementation of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development" approved by Government Resolution no. 95/2016, while he perceives it primarily as an opportunity and a means to determine long-term priorities for the development of our country. The elaboration of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for the conditions of the Slovak Republic will largely take place in the form of updating existing sectoral plans and concepts. In this context, it was established by the resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic no. 350 of July 24, 2017, of the Government Council of the Slovak Republic for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will ensure that the issue of sustainable development becomes an integral part of all public policies.

The European Green Deal The European

Green Deal represents the European Commission's plan for the ecological transformation of the European Union's economy in the interests of a sustainable future. Its primary goal is to ensure that by 2050 Europe will be the first-ever climate-neutral continent. The given long-term goal means that by 2050 the EU will transform into a fair and prosperous society with a modern and competitive economy that uses resources efficiently, where net greenhouse gas emissions will be zero, and where economic growth does not depend on the use of resources.

Greener Slovakia – Environmental Policy Strategy of the Slovak Republic until 2030 (Envirostrategy 2030)

The environmental strategy is a basic strategic document for the environment with long-term goals aimed at the transition to a green, low-carbon, and inclusive economy. The Envirostrategy 2030 defines the vision until 2030 (to achieve a better quality of the environment and a sustainable circular economy using as few non-renewable natural resources and hazardous substances as possible), identifies basic systemic problems, sets goals for 2030, and proposes framework measures to improve the current situation.

Climate change adaptation strategy of the Slovak Republic - update

The main goal of the updated adaptation strategy is to increase the resilience and improve the preparedness of the Slovak Republic to face the adverse consequences of climate change and establish an institutional framework and coordination mechanism to ensure the effective implementation of adaptation measures at all levels and in all areas. The achievement of the main goal of adaptation should contribute to the fulfillment of sub-goals, which are: ensuring the active creation of a national adaptation policy, implementing adaptation measures and monitoring their effectiveness, strengthening the projection of the goals and recommendations of the adaptation strategy within the framework of multi-level public governance and business support, raising public awareness on the issue of climate change, support for synergy between adaptation and mitigation measures and the use of an ecosystem approach in the implementation of adaptation measures, and support for the reflection of the goals and recommendations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. The strategy tries to connect scenarios and possible consequences of climate change with proposals for suitable adaptation measures in the widest possible range of areas and sectors. From the point of view of adaptation to the adverse consequences of climate change, the key areas and sectors are considered to be: rock environment and geology, soil environment, natural environment and biodiversity, water regime in the country and water management, residential environment, population health, agriculture, forestry, transport, tourism traffic, industry, energy and other areas of business and the area of risk management.

Low-carbon development strategy of the Slovak Republic until 2030 with a view to 2050

The Slovak Republic is fully aware of the seriousness and extent of the threat posed by climate change. It is also for this reason that Slovakia, as well as the entire EU and dozens of other countries around the world, have committed to achieving climate neutrality as early as 2050. The low-carbon development strategy of the Slovak Republic until 2030 with a view to 2050 (hereafter the strategy) aims to select and analyze measures in a cost-effective manner, while support from the relevant departments and state and public administration bodies will be essential for implementation and, what is important, that were these policies and other unrelated policies cross-sectionally interconnected and consistent both between individual departments and within individual departments. The strategy represents a cross-sectional document across all sectors of the economy, which must be done by individual policies in such a way that they complement each other in order to meet the common goal, which is to completely decarbonize the whole of Slovakia by the middle of this century. Slovakia set this ambitious goal only at the last stage of the preparation of this strategy (when the modeling had already been completed), and therefore only less ambitious scenarios of emission reductions (and increasing captures) that do not get us to climate neutrality are analyzed in detail.

National emission reduction program of the Slovak Republic
Among the biggest environmental challenges of the Slovak Republic are also the goals based on Directive (EU) 2016/2284 on the reduction of national emissions of certain air pollutants, which amends Directive 2003/35/EC and repeals Directive 2001/81/EC.
These are commitments to reduce emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia and PM2.5, dust particles by 2030. To achieve these goals, the MoE of the Slovak Republic has currently developed a draft of the National Emissions Reduction Program, in which policies and measures for achieving the aforementioned national commitments in two stages: the period from 2020 to 2029 and the period from 2030 onwards.
The National Emissions Reduction Program contributes to the achievement of air quality targets under Directive 2008/50/EC, as well as ensuring compliance with plans and programs set out in other relevant policy areas, including climate, energy, agriculture, industry, and transport. At the same time, this will support the transfer of investments into clean and efficient technologies.

Key question

Is good air quality being achieved, is the pollution level below the target value for benzo(a)pyrene?

Key messages

  • The target value for the average annual concentration of BaP was exceeded at 10 stations: Veľká Ida, Letná; Jelšava, Jesenského; Žarnovica, Dolná; Oščadnica; Plášťovce; Krompachy, SNP; Ružomberok, Riadok; Púchov, 1. mája; Žilina, Obežná a Banská Bystrica, Štefánikovo nábrežie.
Zmena od roku 2005 Zmena od roku 2015 Posledná medziročná zmena
- emo_neutral emo_sad
- Due to the increasing number of monitoring sites in recent years, there have also been more measured concentrations exceeding the mandated values, but the trend cannot be relevantly estimated. Compared to 2021, more exceedances of the permitted concentration values of benzo(a)pyrene were recorded.


Summary assessment

Priemerné ročné koncentrácie benzo(a)pyrénu (BaP) v ovzduší



  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Target value [1,0 ng·m–3]
Upper treshold limit [0,6 ng·m–3]
Lower treshold limit [0,4 ng·m–3]
BRATISLAVA Bratislava, Jeséniova     0,2 0,2 0,3 0,3
Bratislava, Trnavské Mýto 0,4 0,9 0,4 0,5 0,5 0,5
Bratislava, Púchovská         0,9 0,4
KOŠICE Veľká Ida, Letná 4,3 5,8 4,5 4,6 6,1 5,4
Banskobystrický kraj Banská Bystrica, Štefánikovo nábrežie 2,9 2,1 1,7 1,6 1,7 1,4
Banská Bystrica, Zelená     1,1 1,2 1,3 0,9
Jelšava, Jesenského   3,9 4,0 3,0 2,8 2,7
Žarnovica, Dolná         2,2 2,7
Bratislavský kraj Rovinka       0,4 0,6 0,5
Košický kraj Krompachy, SNP     2,7 2,1 2,2 2,2
Nitriansky kraj
Nitra, Štúrova 1,3 0,9 0,8 0,6 0,8 0,6
Plášťovce         2,2 2,4*
Prešovský kraj
Starina, Vodná nádrž, EMEP   1,2 0,4 0,3 0,4 0,2
Stará Lesná, EMEP     0,4 0,3 0,4 0,3
Trenčiansky kraj

Prievidza, Malonecpalská     1,4 1,2 1,1 0,9**
Trenčín, Hasičská       0,8 1,1  
Púchov, 1. mája         4,7 2,0
Trnavský kraj Trnava, Kollárova   0,9 0,7 0,5 0,6 0,5***
Žilinský kraj Žilina, Obežná   6,0 2,0 1,9 1,9 1,9
Ružomberok, Riadok       4,5 2,3 2,2
Oščadnica         12 2,5****

       ≥ 90% of valid measurements Exceeding the target value is marked in red.
* Plášťovce - malfunction from 11.3. until the end of March and from June 6 to July 5, 2022
** Prievidza - malfunction from 24/01 to 21/04/2022
*** Trnava - malfunction from 19/09/2022 to 04/11/2022
**** Oščadnica - failure throughout December 2022

Detailed assessment

Benzo(a)pyrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were monitored at 20 stations in 2022 (the sampler at the AMS Trenčín Hasičská had a malfunction), of which the target value for the average annual BaP concentration at the following AMSs was exceeded at 10 stations: Veľká Ida, Letná; Jelšava, Jesenský; Žarnovica, Dolná; Oščadnica; Plášťovce; Krompachy, SNP; Ružomberok, Riadok; Púchov, 1. Mája; Žilina, Obežná and Banská Bystrica, Štefánikovo nábrežie. The first seven listed stations exceeded the target value more than twice. The highest average annual concentration and the highest measured values were achieved by Veľká Ida (5.4 ng.m–3). The AMS in Prievidza on Malonecpalská Street had a malfunction on 24/01-21/04, and it is very likely that with enough measurements, the target value would have been exceeded at this station as well. In most locations, the decisive source is local heating, in Veľká Ida it is largely the contribution of the industrial complex, mainly from the production of coke.

The target value for BaP was exceeded at 10 stations. Although the measurements in Plášťovce and Oščadnica do not reach the required share of valid data due to a malfunction, their distribution during the year allows us to assume with a high probability that the target value was exceeded at these locations as well. The share of valid data on both AMS was 88%, and the distribution during the seasons was approximately even, in the case of Plášťoviec slightly against spring and summer and in Oščadnica against winter.
Air quality assessment is carried out by permanent measurement in agglomerations and zones where the level of air pollution by a polluting substance is higher than the upper limit for air pollution level assessment. If sufficient data are available, the exceedances of the upper and lower limits for the assessment of the level of air pollution must be determined on the basis of the concentrations measured in the last five years. The limit for assessing the level of air pollution is considered exceeded if it is exceeded in at least three individual years out of the last five years.

The most significant source of benzo(a)pyrene emissions is, similarly to the case of PM2.5, the heating of households with solid fuel. The share of household heating in the total emissions of benzo(a)pyrene is close to 70%, while for example in 2017 (when there was a strongly subnormal temperature in January), this share reached more than 80%. Of the industrial sources, the most prominent is the production of coke, the impact of which can be seen in the high concentrations measured at the industrial monitoring station Veľká Ida, Letná. In 2022, the highest average annual concentration of benzo(a)pyrene among the monitoring stations in Slovakia was again recorded here, namely 5.4 ng.m–3. Let's note that this station is also in a village with local heating facilities and is close to the marginalized Roma community. Household heating is almost exclusively reflected in deteriorated concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene in mountain valleys with good availability of firewood and frequent occurrence of unfavorable scattering conditions and temperature inversions, especially during the winter months. An example of a monitoring station located in such an area is Jelšava, Jesenského. The average annual concentration of benzo(a)pyrene in 2022 reached a value of 2.7 ng.m–3 at this station, while the target value is 1 ng.m–3. The same high value was also achieved at the station Žarnovica, Dolná. The RIO and IDW-R interpolation model was used in the evaluation of the spatial distribution, since the use of the chemical-transport model in the case of benzo(a)pyrene is associated with great uncertainty in the spatial and temporal distribution of emissions, and the situation is also complicated by complex chemical reactions that are still subject of research. However, due to the relatively small number of stations whose monitoring program includes this substance, it is also quite problematic to perform high-quality regression and interpolation with the RIO model.
The target value of the average annual concentration of benzo(a)pyrene of 1 ng.m–3 was exceeded at many measuring points. The lowest concentrations are at rural background stations and in cities in the Danube Plain. This fact is also reflected in the modeling results, with the highest concentrations in the east of the country. The model may overestimate the concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene, especially in the vicinity of Košice and the East Slovak Plain, because it is strongly influenced by the high average annual concentration measured in Veľká Ida, which, together with Krompachy, is only one of two stations in the Košice region where benzo(a)pyrene is monitored.

Average annual concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene [ng.m–3] in 2022

Source: SHMI


Ing. Dorota Hericová, SAŽP,

Definitions related to the indicator:

The aim in air quality is to maintain air quality in places where air quality is good, and in other cases to improve air quality. Good air quality is the level of air pollution lower than the limit value and the target value. Air quality assessment is the determination of the level of air pollution using methods of measurement, calculation, prediction or estimation.

Emission - the penetration of air pollutants in the ground layer from the place of origin to another place is a consequence of the emission
Limit value - the level of air pollution determined on the basis of scientific knowledge in order to prevent, prevent or reduce harmful effects on human health or the environment, which is to be achieved at a given time and is not to be exceeded from that time. The limit value must not be exceeded by more than the tolerance limit from the established dates. The tolerance limit is the percentage of the limit value by which the limit value can be exceeded in accordance with the established conditions.
Target value - the level of air pollution determined in order to prevent, prevent or reduce harmful effects on human health or the environment, to be achieved at a given time, if possible. A critical level is a level of air pollution determined on the basis of scientific knowledge, when exceeding which direct adverse effects may occur on trees, other plants or natural ecosystems in addition to humans.
Total deposition - the total amount of pollutants that have been transferred from the atmosphere to the surface of soil, vegetation, water and buildings in a given area and at a given time
EMEP – European Monitoring and Evaluation Program – Program for monitoring and evaluation of long-range pollution transmission in Europe

AOT40 – target value of ozone exposure index for vegetation protection. AOT40 expressed in μg/m3.h is the sum of the differences between hourly concentrations greater
as 80 μg/m3 (= 40 parts per billion) and 80 μg/m3 during the given period using only 1-hour values measured each day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central European Time (CET). The target value is 18,000 µg/m3.h (5-year average). The AOT40 value for forest protection is calculated in the same way as the AOT40 for vegetation protection, but for the period from April 1 to September 30. The reference level for reporting to the EC is 20,000 µg/m3.h. This value only applies to suburban, rural and background stations.

The program and the integrated air quality improvement program determine air quality improvement measures in air quality management areas for the purpose of achieving good air quality at a given time. In areas of air quality management in which limit values or target values for which the deadline for their achievement has already expired are exceeded, the program or integrated program shall determine appropriate measures to shorten the period during which the specified values are exceeded as much as possible . Programs can also include measures that are applied in action plans to ensure air quality, as well as special measures aimed at protecting sensitive groups of the population, including children.


Air quality is generally determined by the content of pollutants in the outdoor air. Air quality assessment is carried out in accordance with Act no. 146/2023 Coll. on air protection. The basic starting point for the assessment of air quality in the Slovak Republic are the results of measurements of the concentrations of pollutants in the air, which are carried out by the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) at the stations of the National Air Quality Monitoring Network (NMSKO).

National Air Quality Monitoring Network (2022)

Source: SHMI

Zones and agglomerations form large territories and collectively cover the entire territory of Slovakia. In each zone, the spatial distribution of pollutant concentrations is quite variable – it usually includes areas with significant sources of emissions and degraded air quality, but also relatively clean areas without sources. In order to facilitate the management of air quality, the so-called areas of air quality management. These areas are a subset of individual zones - each zone can contain several.

If the measured concentrations of any pollutant in the air at a given monitoring station exceed the limit or target value in the monitored year, the relevant territory that the station represents with its measurement is, according to Act no. 146/2023 Coll. on air protection, declared to be the area of air quality management. The district office in the authority of the region is obliged to develop a Program for improving air quality for this area. If limit values or target values are exceeded for several pollutants, the district office in the regional headquarters will develop an integrated program for those areas. Monitoring and assessment of air quality is carried out by the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMI) as an authorized organization in all agglomerations and zones for polluting substances for which limit values or target values are determined and for ozone precursors.
SHMI annually proposes a list of air protection areas based on air pollution monitoring (for a period longer than one year), while the list of zones and agglomerations remains unchanged. A pollutant is removed from the air protection areas list only after the concentrations of the pollutant at the station do not exceed the limit value for three years in a row.

Air quality assessment is being carried out
a) by permanent measurement in agglomerations or in zones where the level of air pollution by a given polluting substance is higher than the upper limit for assessing the level of air pollution, and in the case of arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a)pyrene, also in zones and agglomerations, in which the level of air pollution is between the upper limit and the lower limit for assessing the level of air pollution; permanent measurement can be supplemented by modeling techniques or indicative measurements in order to provide adequate information on the spatial distribution of air quality,

b) by a combination of permanent measurements, indicative measurements and modeling techniques in agglomerations and zones in which the level of air pollution is the same or higher than the lower limit for the assessment of the level of air pollution and the same or lower than the upper limit for the assessment of the level of air pollution,

c) by a combination of permanent measurements, indicative measurements and modeling techniques in agglomerations and zones in which the level of air pollution in a representative time period is between the upper limit and the lower limit for assessing the level of air pollution, if it concerns arsenic, cadmium, nickel and benzo(a )pyrene,

d) modeling techniques or objective estimation techniques in agglomerations and zones in which the level of air pollution is lower than the lower limit for assessing the level of air pollution.

Source of data:


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