In this New Years Eve, during which no fireworks were allowed to be fired, much lower concentrations of particulate matter were measured in cities than last year. This is evidenced by figures from the RIVM.
Between midnight and 1 a.m., an average of 200 micrograms per cubic metre of particulate matter (PM10) was measured per measuring station. Last year it was about 650 micrograms.
For the first time, a complete fireworks ban was proclaimed in the Netherlands. It seems, in view of the particulate matter measurements, that two-thirds less fireworks have been fired in cities than last year.
Due to the moderate winds last night, the particles stuck much longer, so in the following hours there was hardly any difference from last year. The wind came from the west, so the air in the Randstad was clean again after a few hours, while increased concentrations of particulate matter in the East of the Netherlands could still be measured until this afternoon.
According to researcher Joost Wesseling of the RIVM, it was a “fairly unique year”. After 1 hour last night, the measured amount of particulate matter increased slightly, where it always decreases in other years after an hour. “One possible explanation is that some people looked the cat out of the tree and later lit some fireworks, that fires were set or that there was still a lot of wood stook late.”
RIVM points out that this is a preliminary analysis of unvalidated official measurements in some 20 cities, along motorways and industrial areas, combined with results from hundreds of citizen particulate sensors. An extensive analysis of the whole of the Netherlands will be published later.