Munich and Stuttgart are closely associated in many people's heads with cars. As the homes of the BMW and Mercedes brands, they are known around the world for building some of the finest automobiles money can buy.
But people who pay attention to the latest report by the UBA may start to think of these cities as the places where cars are harming people's quality of life. Three of the ten most polluted streets in Germany are in Stuttgart, while one is in Munich, with diesel cars being blamed for the damage.
According to the UBA, the safe limit for nitrogen dioxide in the air is 40 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³). But in two Stuttgart streets - am Nekator and Hohenheimer Straße - the UBA recorded average levels twice this high throughout 2016.
In Landshuter Allee in Munich, the average nitrogen dioxide level was also 80 (µg/m³).
Overall, measurements by the UBA show that in 2016, 57 percent of German streets with high traffic had levels of nitrogen dioxide that were higher than the safe limit.
“Nitrogen dioxide has been endangering our health for decades,” said UBA head Maria Krautzberger, adding that diesel engines were largely responsible for the health threat.
Krautzberger said that Germans “should not accept” that cities continue to allow polluting diesel engines to be driven through city centres.