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Health and Safety Considerations for Americans Visiting Bosnia & Herzegovina
U.S. Citizen Services

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Food and Water

The Sarajevo public water supply has been found to meet world Health Organizations (WHO) standards. The water is not thought to pose a health risk. No lead was found in the tap water in Sarajevo, but it does not contain natural fluoride, making it necessary for children to supplement that element to promote dental health.

A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are available in the markets. They are generally considered safe, however, to protect from food borne disease it is best to thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruit that are not peeled.

It is suggested that you buy meats and fish from supermarkets or butcher shops that have passed government inspections and use refrigerated cases rather then buying them in the open markets. As with other foods make sure meat and fish is thoroughly cooked and is hot and steaming before eating.

Land Mines

Mines and associated devices were used extensively by all factions during the last war. Mine clearance efforts are in progress, however, land mines and other unexploded ordnance pose a danger throughout the country. Areas at greatest risk are the “onfrontation lines” ringing some cities, gravel roads, disused buildings, woods and orchards, military establishments, strategic areas and private property.

The following advice is given to avoid mines:

  • Stay on known safe surfaces
  • Stick to approved routes
  • Don’t drive on road shoulders
  • Don’t give in to curiosity
  • Observe local behavior
  • Obtain mine information

U.S. Mission BiH Air Quality Monitoring

The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo and U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Banja Luka have air quality monitoring equipment to measure fine particulate matter (commonly referred to as PM 2.5 because they are less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter) as an indicator of air quality in downtown Sarajevo and Banja Luka. Air quality data collected by the U.S. Embassy Sarajevo and its Branch Office Banja Luka air quality monitors may differ from other monitors located in Sarajevo and Banja Luka, as data from a single monitoring station cannot be applied to an entire city.

The air quality data collected by the U.S. Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina is translated into actionable information by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) NowCast algorithm. This algorithm converts raw PM 2.5 readings into an air quality index (AQI) value that reports how clean or polluted the air is and the associated health effects allowing individuals to take steps to reduce their exposure. The index is calculated based on data over a 3-12 hour period depending on the variability of particulate concentration.

Reporting on PM 2.5 is a standard recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and allows us to compare against U.S. standard measures. For more information on PM 2.5 and air quality in general, please visit the EPA’s website. U.S. Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina does not track other contaminants that contribute to air pollution [e.g. coarse dust particles (PM10), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO)]. If a reading of “-999” appears for any of the U.S. Embassy’s readings, please disregard it as this indicates that the data is currently unavailable for the site in question.


Air Quality Index Levels of Health Concern Numerical Value
Good 0 to 50 Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk
Moderate 51 to 100 Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101 to 150 Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.
Unhealthy 151 to 200 Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Very Unhealthy 201 to 300 Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.
Hazardous 301 to 500 Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.