Home → Pollution

Industrial emissions generally dropped since the regime change, but only relatively weak databases are available. Even less is known concerning agricultural chemical residues and contaminants in food.


Hazardous waste

The amount of hazardous waste issued decreased a lot since the 2000s, but this was also due to changes in legislation and changes in the statistical methods implemented. Recovery is only slightly increasing. A number of landfills Hungary have no legal owner, imposing serious environmental risks (cf. the Illatos út deposit). Most of the recovery capacity is privately owned and insufficient.


Air quality

Air quality has improved significantly since the regime, primarily owing to changes in industrial emissions.  Caused by residential heating, the level of SO2 emissions also decreased. Major positive developments have taken place in the cities which in the nineties were simply referred to as the “Dirty Dozen”. Conversely, no substantial change can be observed in terms of the NOx and dust levels generated by transportation.


Industrial pollution

Assessing the indicators on harmful emissions by the Hungarian industries with the major impact on pollution, based on the data of the European Environment Agency (EEA), the emerging picture is neither black nor white. Though food nutrient pollution levels decreased significantly by 2009, but they were still significantly higher than the EU average, so in this respect the Hungarian performance can be evaluated as mediocre (grade of 3). The reduction of heavy metal pollution associated with metallurgical production activities was even more significant, and as a result, performance in this domain can be seen of mediocre and good, which merits a grade of 3.5. In less favourable light, TOC pollution by the Hungarian chemical industry increased between 2007 and 2009 according to EEA data. Nevertheless, it is still less than the average EU or V4 figures. 



The total emissions show a monotonous downward trend. (In recent years, even nitrogen oxide emissions from transport decreased.) Nevertheless, the amount of sulphur dioxide emissions has started to grow again, partly due to changes in heating habits.


Soil protection

There is only limited date available on Soil Protection. The information available primarily sheds light on quantitative indicators on the work performed by authorities, being less informative for the identification and assessment of the changes concerning risk factors. In 2011, the controlled objects did not meet soil protection standards in 219 cases out of a total of 2269 soil protection audits, calling for further intervention. 2012 figures showed some development, with 126 cases of non-compliance out of 1575 inspections made by soil supervisors (7%). The character of infringements has not changed over the past two years. In the majority of cases, a breach of soil protection was recorded, concerning  in particular the statutory obligations as opposed to soil protection requirements defined in the permits. In a smaller range of cases, violations had to do with the requirements of the nitrates directive.