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ISSN 1977-8449
EEA Report No 5/2015
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
EEA Report No 5/2015
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
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institutions of the European Union. Neither the European Environment Agency nor any person or company acting on
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© European Environment Agency, 2015
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Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2015
ISBN 978-92-9213-702-1
ISSN 1977-8449
doi:10.2800/62459
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Caveat
Due to the on-going implementation of a new system for reporting European air quality data, please
note that not all data officially reported by countries are necessarily included in this report.
3
Contents
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Contents
Acronyms, units and symbols ................................................................................................... 5
Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................... 6
Executive summary .................................................................................................................... 7
1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 11
1.1 Human health ........................................................................................................................ 11
1.2 Ecosystems ............................................................................................................................. 12
1.3 Climate change ...................................................................................................................... 12
1.4 The built environment and cultural heritage ..................................................................... 12
1.5 Air policy ................................................................................................................................. 12
1.6 Outline of this report ............................................................................................................13
2 Sources and emissions of air pollutants ........................................................................... 14
2.1 Sources of regulated pollutants ..........................................................................................14
2.2 Total emissions of air pollutants .........................................................................................15
2.3 Sectoral emissions of air pollutants .................................................................................... 15
3 Particulate matter ............................................................................................................... 20
3.1 European air quality standards and World Health Organization
guidelines for particulate matter.........................................................................................20
3.2 Status in concentrations ...................................................................................................... 21
3.2.1 Exceedances of limit and target values ...................................................................21
3.2.2 Relationship of emissions to ambient particulate matter concentrations .........24
4 Ozone .................................................................................................................................... 25
4.1 European air quality standards and World Health Organization guidelines
for ozone ................................................................................................................................25
4.2 Status in concentrations ...................................................................................................... 26
4.2.1 Exceedance of the target values for protection of health ....................................27
4.2.2 Relationship of ozone precursor emissions to ambient ozone
concentrations ...........................................................................................................27
5 Nitrogen dioxide .................................................................................................................. 29
5.1 European air quality standards and World Health Organization guidelines
for NO2 .................................................................................................................................... 29
5.2 Status in concentrations ...................................................................................................... 30
5.2.1 Exceedances of limit values for the protection of human health ........................30
5.2.2 Relationship of nitrogen oxides emissions and nitrogen
dioxide concentrations .............................................................................................32
Contents
4Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
6 Benzo[a]pyrene .................................................................................................................... 33
6.1 European air quality standards and reference levels for benzo[a]pyrene .................. 33
6.2 Status in concentrations ...................................................................................................... 33
6.2.1 Exceedances of the target value ..............................................................................33
7 Other pollutants: sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, toxic metals and benzene...... 36
7.1 European air quality standards and World Health Organization guidelines ................. 36
7.2 Status in concentrations ..................................................................................................... 37
7.2.1 Sulphur dioxide .........................................................................................................37
7.2.2 Carbon monoxide ......................................................................................................37
7.2.3 Toxic metals ................................................................................................................38
7.2.4 Benzene ......................................................................................................................38
8 Population exposure to air pollutants in European urban areas .................................. 39
8.1 Particulate matter .................................................................................................................39
8.2 Ozone ..................................................................................................................................... 39
8.3 Nitrogen dioxide .................................................................................................................... 40
8.4 Benzo[a]pyrene .....................................................................................................................40
8.5 Sulphur dioxide ....................................................................................................................40
8.6 Carbon monoxide .................................................................................................................41
8.7 Toxic metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead and nickel) ............................................................. 41
8.8 Benzene .................................................................................................................................. 41
9 Health impacts of exposure to fine particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen dioxide ...42
9.1 Health impacts of current exposure to fine particulate matter, ozone
and nitrogen dioxide ............................................................................................................ 42
9.2 Estimated health gains attributable to attainment of fine particulate matter
and nitrogen dioxide guidelines or limit values ................................................................44
10 Health impacts of exposure to benzo[a]pyrene .............................................................. 46
11 Impacts of air pollution on ecosystems ............................................................................ 49
11.1 Vegetation damage by ground-level ozone .......................................................................49
11.2 Eutrophication .......................................................................................................................51
11.3 Acidification ............................................................................................................................ 52
11.4 Environmental impacts of toxic metals ..............................................................................53
11.5 Ecosystem exposure to nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide ........................................53
References ................................................................................................................................. 54
5
Acronyms, units and symbols
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Acronyms, units and symbols
µg/m3 Microgram(s) per cubic metre
AEI Average exposure indicator
AOT40 Accumulated exposure over a threshold
of 40parts per billion. This represents the
sum of the differences between hourly
concentrations greater than 80µg/m3
(= 40parts per billion) and 80µg/m3
accumulated over all hourly values
measured between 8.00 and 20.00 Central
European Time
AQG Air Quality Guideline
As Arsenic
BaP Benzo[a]pyrene
BC Black carbon
C6H6 Benzene
Cd Cadmium
CH4 Methane
CO Carbon monoxide
CO2 Carbon dioxide
EAP Environment Action Programme
EC European Commission
EEA European Environment Agency
ETC/ACM European Topic Centre on Air Pollution and
Climate Change Mitigation
EU European Union
Gg Gigagrams
GHG Greenhouse gas
Hg Mercury
IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer
LAT Lower assessment threshold
LRTAP Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
ng/m3 Nanogram(s) per cubic metre
NH3 Ammonia
Ni Nickel
NMVOC Non-methane volatile organic compound
NO Nitrogen monoxide
NO2 Nitrogen dioxide
NOx Nitrogen oxides
O3 Ozone
PAH Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
Pb Lead
PM Particulate matter
PM2.5 Particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5µm
or less
PM10 Particulate matter with a diameter of 10µm
or less
ppb Parts per billion
RL Reference level
SO2 Sulphur dioxide
SOx Sulphur oxides
TSAP Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution
UN United Nations
UNECE United Nations Economic Commission for
Europe
VOC Volatile organic compound
WHO World Health Organization
YLL Years of life lost
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
6
Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
This report was prepared for the European Environment
Agency (EEA) by its European Topic Centre on Air
pollution and Climate Change Mitigation (ETC/ACM).
The lead author of the report was Cristina Guerreiro
(Norwegian Institute for Air Research). The
co-authors were Frank de Leeuw (Rijksinstituut voor
Volksgezondheid en Milieu (Netherlands National
Institute for Public Health and the Environment)),
Valentin Foltescu and Alberto González Ortiz (EEA), and
Jan Horálek (Český hydrometeorologický ústav (Czech
Hydrometeorological Institute)). The ETC/ACM reviewer
was Xavier Querol (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones
Científicas (Spanish Council for Scientific Research)).
The EEA project managers were Alberto González
Ortiz and Valentin Foltescu. The EEA acknowledges
comments received on the draft report from the
European Environment Information and Observation
Network national reference centres, the European
Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO).
These comments have been included in the final
version of the report as far as possible.
Thanks are also due to Jean-Paul Hettelingh
(Coordination Centre for Effects at Rijksinstituut voor
Volksgezondheid en Milieu), for providing the EEA with
the background data for the critical load information
presented in this report.
7
Executive summary
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Executive summary
(1) The EEA-33 member countries comprise the EU-28 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), plus the remaining five EEA member countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein,
Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). The EEA cooperating countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia, Kosovo, under the UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99, Montenegro and Serbia.
(2) The 2050 vision is set out in the EU's 7th Environment Action Programme (EU, 2013).
Air pollution is both an environmental and a social
problem, as it leads to a multitude of adverse effects
on human health, ecosystems, the built environment
and the climate. Air pollution poses the single largest
environmental health risk in Europe today. Air pollutants
are emitted from anthropogenic and natural sources;
they may be transported or formed over long distances;
and they may affect large areas. Some air pollutants
persist in the environment for long periods of time and
they may accumulate in the environment and in the food
chain, affecting humans and animals not only via air
intake, but also via water and food intake. Air pollution
is, therefore, a complex problem that poses multiple
challenges in terms of management and mitigation.
Effective action to reduce the impacts of air pollution
requires a good understanding of the sources that cause
it, as well as up-to-date knowledge of air quality status
and its impact on humans and on ecosystems.
The current report presents an overview and analysis
of air quality in Europe, with a focus on the latest year
for which there are available and processed data,
namely 2013. It reviews the progress made towards
meeting the requirements of the Air Quality Directives
(EU, 2004; EU, 2008). It also gives an overview of the
latest findings and estimates on population exposure
to the air pollutants with the greatest impacts on
health in Europe, as well as an overview of the effects
of air pollution on human health and on ecosystems.
The evaluation of the status of air quality is based on
ambient air measurements, in conjunction with data on
anthropogenic emissions and their trends. The analysis
covers up to 39 European countries (1).
The present analysis indicates that air quality policies
have delivered many improvements. Reduced
emissions have improved air quality in Europe, and,
for a number of pollutants, exceedances of European
standards are rare. However, substantial challenges
remain and considerable impacts on human health
and on the environment persist. A large proportion of
European populations and ecosystems are still exposed
to air pollution in exceedance of European standards
and WHO Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs).
Effective air quality policies require action and
cooperation on global, European, national and local
levels, which must reach across most economic sectors
and engage the public. Holistic solutions must be found
that involve technological development, structural
changes, including the optimisation of infrastructures
and urban planning, and behavioural changes. These
will be necessary to achieve protection of the natural
capital and to support economic prosperity and human
well-being and social development, all of which are part
of the EU's 2050 vision(2).
Europe's air quality today
Particulate matter
The EU limit and target values for particulate matter
(PM) continued to be exceeded in large parts of Europe
in 2013. The EU daily limit value for PM with a diameter
of 10µm or less (PM10) was exceeded in 22 of the
28EUMember States, and the target value for PM
with a diameter of 2.5µm or less (PM2.5) was exceeded
in7Member States. A total of 17% of the EU‑28 urban
population was exposed to PM10 levels above the daily
limit value and approximately 61% was exposed to
concentrations exceeding the stricter WHO AQG value
for PM10 in 2013. Regarding PM2.5, 9% of the urban
population in the EU-28 was exposed to PM2.5 levels
above the EU target value (which changes to a limit
value from 2015 onwards) and approximately 87% was
exposed to concentrations exceeding the stricter WHO
AQG value for PM2.5 in 2013 (Table ES.1).
Executive summary
8Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
(3) This level was estimated assuming WHO unit risk for lung cancer for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon mixtures, and an acceptable risk of
additional lifetime cancer risk of approximately 1×10–5 (ETC/ACM, 2011).
Ozone
The EU ozone (O3) target value for the protection
of human health was exceeded in 18 of the 28 EU
Member States in 2013. Conformity with the WHO AQG
value for O3 was observed in less than 3% of all stations
in Europe in 2013. Some 15% of the EU‑28 urban
population lives in areas in which the EUO3target value
threshold for protecting human health was exceeded
in 2013. The EU urban population exposed to O3 levels
exceeding the WHO AQG was significantly higher,
comprising 98% of the total urban population in 2013
(Table ES.1).
Nitrogen dioxide
The annual limit value for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was
widely exceeded across Europe in 2013, with 93% of all
exceedances occurring close to roads. A total of 19 of
the 28 EU Member States recorded exceedances of this
limit value at one or more stations. Of the EU-28 urban
population, 9% lives in areas in which the annual EU
limit value and the WHO AQG for NO2 were exceeded in
2013 (Table ES.1).
Benzo[a]pyrene, an indicator for polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons
Exposure to benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) pollution is quite
significant and widespread, in particular in central
and eastern Europe. Approximately half of the BaP
measurement stations in Europe were in exceedance of
the EU target value in 2013, mostly in urban areas. About
20% of the total European population was exposed to
BaP annual mean concentrations above the European
target value in 2012 and about 88% lives in areas with
concentrations above the estimated reference level(3).
Considering only urban populations, in 2013 25%
of the EU-28 urban population was exposed to BaP
concentrations above the target value, and as much
as 91% was exposed to BaP concentrations above the
estimated reference level (Table ES.1).
Table ES.1 Percentage of the urban population in the EU‑28 exposed to air pollutant concentrations
above certain EU and WHO reference concentrations (2011–2013)
Pollutant EU reference value Exposure estimate WHO AQG Exposure estimate
PM2.5 Year (25) 9–14 Year (10) 87–93
PM10 Day (50) 17–30 Year (20) 61–83
O38-hour (120) 14–15 8-hour (100) 97–98
NO2Year (40) 8–12 Year (40) 8–12
BaP Year (1ng/m3) 25–28 Year (RL, 0.12ng/m3) 85–91
SO2Day (125) <1 Day (20) 36–37
<5% 5–50% 50–75% >75%
Key:
Notes: The estimated range in exposures refers to a recent three year period (2011–2013, except for SO2 WHO AQG, 2011–2012) and includes
variations due to meteorology, as dispersion and atmospheric conditions dier from year to year.
The reference concentrations include EU limit or target levels, WHO air quality guidelines (AQG) and estimated reference levels.
The reference concentrations in brackets are in μg/m3 except for BaP in ng/m3.
For some pollutants EU legislation allows a limited number of exceedances. This aspect is considered in the compilation of exposure
in relation to EU air quality limit and target values. The comparison is made for the most stringent EU limit or target values set for the
protection of human health. For PM10 the most stringent limit value is for 24-hour mean concentration and for NO2 it is the annual mean
limit value.
As the WHO has not set AQG for BaP, the reference level in the table was estimated assuming WHO unit risk for lung cancer for PAH
mixtures, and an acceptable risk of additional lifetime cancer risk of approximately 1 x 10-5 (ETC/ACM, 2011).
Source: Based on EEA, 2015d.
Executive summary
9
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Other pollutants: sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide,
toxic metals and benzene
The EU-28 urban population was exposed to only a
few exceedances of the sulphur dioxide (SO2) EU daily
limit value in 2013. However, 37% of the EU‑28 urban
population was exposed to SO2 levels exceeding the
WHO AQG in 2012.
Exposure of the European population to carbon
monoxide (CO) concentrations above the EU limit
value and WHO AQG is very limited, localised and
sporadic. No reporting stations in either the EU-28 or
EEA-33 groups of countries registered exceedances of
the COlimit value in 2013.
Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb)
and nickel (Ni) in air are generally low in Europe, with
few exceedances of limit or target values. However,
these pollutants contribute to the deposition and
accumulation of toxic metal levels in soils, sediments
and organisms.
Exceedances of the limit value for benzene (C6H6)
were likewise limited to very few locations in Europe
in2013.
Sources of air pollution
Transport, industry, power plants, agriculture,
households and waste management all contribute
to Europe's air pollution. Emissions of the main
air pollutants in Europe have declined since 1990,
resulting in generally improved air quality across the
region. However, certain sectors have not sufficiently
reduced their emissions in order to meet air quality
standards or have even increased emissions of
some pollutants. For example, emissions of nitrogen
oxides (NOx) from road transport have not sufficiently
decreased to meet air quality standards in many
urban areas. Furthermore, emissions of PM2.5 and BaP
from coal and biomass combustion in households and
from commercial and institutional buildings have risen
in the EU in the past decade. These sources are now
the main contributors to total PM and BaP emissions
in the EU.
Although European air quality is projected to improve
in future with a full implementation of existing
legislation, further efforts to reduce emissions of air
pollutants are necessary to assure full compliance
with EU air quality standards set for the protection
of human health and the environment. For example,
non-exhaust emissions of PM from transport (i.e. tyre,
road and brake wear) are important and are currently
not regulated.
Impacts of air pollution on health
Air pollution continues to have significant impacts on
the health of Europeans, particularly in urban areas. It
also has considerable economic impacts, cutting lives
short, increasing medical costs and reducing productivity
through working days lost across the economy.
Europe's most problematic pollutants in terms of harm
to human health are PM, ground-level O3 and NO2.
In addition, BaP (an indicator for polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs)) causes adverse health effects,
particularly in eastern Europe.
Estimates of the health impacts attributable
to exposure to air pollution indicate that PM2.5
concentrations in 2012 were responsible for about
432000 premature deaths originating from long‑term
exposure in Europe (over 40countries; see Table9.2),
of which around 403000were in the EU‑28. In
the same year, the estimated impact of exposure
to NO2 (long-term exposure) and O3 (short-term
exposure) concentrations on the population in the
same 40 European countries was around 75000 and
17000premature deaths, respectively, and around
72000 and 16000 premature deaths, respectively,
inthe EU‑28.
Exposure and impacts on European
ecosystems
Air pollution continues to damage vegetation and
ecosystems. It leads to several important environmental
impacts, which affect vegetation directly, as well as the
quality of water and soil and the ecosystem services they
support. The most harmful air pollutants in terms of
damage to ecosystems are O3, ammonia (NH3) and NOx.
Europe's sustained ground-level O3 concentrations
damage agricultural crops, forests and plants by
reducing their growth rates. The EU target value for
protection of vegetation from O3 has been exceeded in
about 27% of the EU‑28 agricultural land area in 2012,
mostly in southern and central Europe. The long-term
objective for the protection of vegetation from O3 was
exceeded in 86% of the total EU‑28 agricultural area, and
the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
(UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary
Air Pollution (LRTAP) critical level for the protection of
forests was exceeded in 67% of the total EU‑28 forest
area in 2012.
NOx, SO2 and NH3 contribute to the acidification of soil,
lakes and rivers, causing the loss of animal and plant life
and biodiversity. Improvements in reducing ecosystem
exposure to excess levels of acidification have been
Executive summary
10 Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
(4) Natura 2000 is an EU-wide network of nature protection areas (EEA, 2012a) established under the 1992 Habitats Directive (EU, 1992). The aim of
the network is to ensure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
Box ES.1 The EU Clean Air Policy Package
In late 2013, the European Commission (EC) proposed a new Clean Air Policy Package. This package updates existing
legislation controlling harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their
impact on human health and the environment. The package has a number of components, including:
a new clean air programme for Europe, with measures to ensure that existing targets are met in the short term,
and new air quality objectives for the period up to 2030; the package also includes support measures to help cut
air pollution, with a focus on improving air quality in cities, supporting research and innovation and promoting
international cooperation;
a proposal for a revised National Emissions Ceilings Directive with stricter national emission ceilings for six main
pollutants, and provisions for black carbon, which will also help to mitigate climate change;
a proposal, now adopted, for a new directive to reduce pollution from medium-sized combustion installations of
between 1 thermal megawatt (MWth) and 50MWth, such as energy plants for street blocks or large buildings, and
small industrial installations.
If agreed, and assuming full implementation by 2030, compared with business as usual (i.e. implementation of current
legislation), the new Clean Air Policy Package is estimated to:
prevent 58000 premature deaths;
save 123000km2 of ecosystems from nitrogen pollution;
save 56000km2 of protected Natura 2000 areas from nitrogen pollution;
save 19000km2 of forest ecosystems from acidification.
The health benefits expected from the package will result in savings of between EUR40billion and EUR140billion
in reduced damage costs alone, and will provide about EUR3billion in direct benefits as a result of higher workforce
productivity, lower healthcare costs, higher crop yields and less damage to buildings. It is also expected that the new
Clean Air Policy Package will have a positive net impact on economic growth in Europe: fewer workdays lost will increase
productivity and competitiveness and generate new jobs (EC, 2013b).
made in past decades, largely as a result of declining SO2
emissions. An estimated 7% of the total EU‑28 ecosystem
area and 5% of the Natura 2000(4) area were at risk of
acidification in 2010. This represents a reduction of 30%
and 40%, respectively, from 2005 levels.
Apart from causing acidification, NH3 and NOx
emissions also disrupt land and water ecosystems by
introducing excessive amounts of nutrient nitrogen.
This leads to eutrophication, an oversupply of
nutrients that can lead to changes in species diversity
and to invasions of new species. It is estimated that
around 63% of European ecosystem areas, and 73%
of the area covered by Natura 2000-protected sites,
remained exposed to air-pollution levels exceeding
eutrophication limits in 2010.
11
Introduction
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
1 Introduction
Air pollution is a very important environmental and
social issue and, at the same time, it is a complex
problem posing multiple challenges in terms of
management and mitigation. Air pollutants are emitted
from anthropogenic and natural sources; they may be
either emitted directly or formed in the atmosphere;
they have a number of impacts on health, ecosystems,
the built environment and the climate; they may be
transported or formed over long distances; and they
may affect large areas. Effective action to reduce the
impacts of air pollution requires a good understanding
of its causes, how pollutants are transported and
transformed in the atmosphere, and how they impact
on humans, ecosystems and the climate. Effective
air quality policies call for action and cooperation
on global, European, national and local levels, which
extends across most economic sectors and which
engages the public. Holistic solutions involving
technological development, structural changes,
including the optimisation of infrastructures and urban
planning, and behavioural changes must be found.
1.1 Human health
Air pollution is the single largest environmental
health risk in Europe; recent estimates suggest that
the disease burden resulting from air pollution is
substantial (Lim et al., 2012; WHO, 2014a). Heart
disease and stroke are the most common reasons
for premature death attributable to air pollution and
are responsiblefor 80% of cases of premature death;
lung diseases and lung cancer follow (WHO, 2014a).
In addition to causing premature death, air pollution
increases the incidence of a wide range of diseases
(e.g. respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and
cancer), with both long‑and short‑term health effects.
Air pollution as a whole, as well as PM as a separate
component of air pollution mixtures, have recently
been classified as carcinogenic (IARC, 2013).
The effect of air pollution on health also has
considerable economic impacts, cutting lives short,
increasing medical costs and reducing productivity
Photo: © Stefano Scagliarini, Picture2050/EEA
Introduction
12 Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
through working days lost across the economy. The
proportion of the population affected by less severe
health impacts is much larger than the proportion of
the population affected by more serious health impacts
(e.g.those leading to premature deaths). In spite of
this, it is the severe outcomes (such as increased risk
of mortality and reduced life expectancy) that are
most often considered in epidemiological studies and
health-risk analyses, because there are usually better
data available for the severe effects (EEA,2013a).
As regards the associated costs of air pollution in
Europe, the European Commission estimates that
total health-related external costs in 2010 were in the
range of EUR330–940billion per year, including direct
economic damages of EUR15billion from lost work
days, EUR4billion from healthcare costs, EUR3billion
from crop yield loss and EUR1billion from damage to
buildings (EC, 2013a).
1.2 Ecosystems
Air pollution has several important environmental
impacts and may directly affect vegetation, as well
as the quality of water and soil and the ecosystem
services that they support. For example, ground-level
O3 damages agricultural crops, forests and plants by
reducing their growth rates. The European Commission
estimates the cost of crop yield loss for 2010 to be
around EUR3billion (EC, 2013a). Other pollutants, such
as nitrogen oxides (a family of gases collectively known
as NOx), SO2 and ammonia (NH3) contribute to the
acidification of soil, lakes and rivers, causing the loss of
animal and plant life. In addition to causing acidification,
NH3 and NOx emissions also disrupt land and water
ecosystems by introducing excessive amounts of
nutrient nitrogen. This leads to eutrophication, which is
an oversupply of nutrients that can lead to changes in
species diversity and to invasions of new species.
1.3 Climate change
Several air pollutants are also climate forcers, which
have a potential impact on the planet's climate and
global warming in the short term (i.e. decades).
Tropospheric O3 and black carbon (BC), a constituent of
PM, are examples of air pollutants that are short-lived
climate forcers and that contribute directly to global
warming. Other PM components, such as organic
carbon, ammonium (NH4+), sulphate (SO42–) and nitrate
(NO3), have a cooling effect.
Measures to cut BC emissions, along with those of other
pollutants that cause tropospheric O3 formation, such
as methane (CH4) (itself a greenhouse gas (GHG)), will
help to reduce health and ecosystem impacts and the
extent of global climate warming. Air quality and climate
change should therefore be tackled together by policies
and measures that have been developed through an
integrated approach.
1.4 The built environment and cultural
heritage
Air pollution can also damage materials and buildings,
including Europe's most culturally significant buildings.
The impact of air pollution on cultural heritage
materials is a serious concern because it can lead to
the loss of parts of our history and culture. Damage
includes corrosion, biodegradation and soiling.
Emissions of air pollutants are deposited and build up
over the years on the surfaces of buildings. The walls,
windows and roofs, made mainly of stone, bricks,
cement, glass, wood and ceramic, become discoloured
and suffer material loss, structural failure and soiling.
Of particular importance is soiling caused by particles
and corrosion caused by acidifying compounds (mostly
sulphur and nitrogen oxides, SOx and NOx, as well as
carbon dioxide (CO2)). The costs of damage to buildings
were estimated to be around EUR1billion in 2010
(EC,2013a).
1.5 Air policy
European air pollution is a well-established
environmental policy area; over a number of decades,
policies in this area have resulted in decreased
emissions of air pollutants and have led to noticeable
improvements in air quality.
Current EU air pollution policy is underpinned by
the 2005 Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution (TSAP)
(EC, 2005) which aims to achieve improvements in
2020 relative to the situation in 2000, with concrete
objectives concerning impacts on human health and
the environment. The TSAP also established which
European legislation and measures are needed to
ensure progress towards the long-term goal of the Sixth
Environment Action Programme (EAP) (i.e. the EAP that
ran from 2002 to 2012), to attain 'levels of air quality
that do not give rise to significant negative impacts on,
and risks to human health and the environment'. This
goal has recently been reinforced in the Seventh EAP
(which will run until 2020). To move towards achieving
the TSAP objectives, EU air pollution legislation has
followed a twin-track approach of implementing both
air quality standards and emission mitigation controls.
The main policy instruments on air pollution within
the EU include the Air Quality Directives (EU,2004;
Introduction
13
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
EU, 2008) and the National Emission Ceilings Directive
(EU, 2001). Source-specific legislation also focuses
on industrial emissions, road and off-road vehicle
emissions, fuel quality standards, etc. Beyond the EU,
emissions are also addressed under the 1979 UNECE
LRTAP Convention, the Marine Pollution Convention and
other international conventions. In addition, several legal
instruments are used to reduce environmental impacts
from different activities or to promote environmentally
friendly behaviour, and these also contribute indirectly
to minimising air pollution (EEA, 2014b).
In late 2013, the European Commission proposed a
new Clean Air Policy Package for Europe, which aims
to ensure compliance with existing legislation by 2020
and to further improve Europe's air quality by 2030
and thereafter (EC, 2013b). The package proposes
strengthening the implementation of existing legislation,
introducing stricter national emission-reduction
commitments and reducing emissions from
medium-size combustion plants (see Box ES.1).
It is clear that minimising air pollution and its impacts
requires coordinated action at international, European,
national, regional and local levels. The national
and sub-national authorities are very important in
implementing EU legislation. Moreover, these authorities
are often responsible for encouraging and adopting local
measures to further protect their populations and the
environment.
1.6 Outline of this report
This report presents an updated overview and analysis
of air quality in Europe and is focused on the state in
2013 and the development over the past 10 years,
since 2004. The evaluation of the status of air quality
is based on ambient air measurements, in conjunction
with anthropogenic emissions and their trends. Parts
of the assessment also rely on air quality modelling. In
addition, the report includes an overview of the latest
findings and estimates of the effects of air pollution on
health, and its impacts on ecosystems.
The report reviews progress towards meeting the
requirements of the two Air Quality Directives presently
in force (EU, 2004; EU, 2008) and the long-term
objectives of achieving levels of air pollution that do not
lead to unacceptable harm to human health and the
environment, as presented in the latest two European
EAPs (EU, 2002; EU, 2013).
Photo: © Matteo Ferretti, Picture2050/EEA
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
14
Sources and emissions of air pollutants
2 Sources and emissions of air pollutants
Air pollutants may be categorised as either primary
air pollutants (i.e. pollutants directly emitted to the
atmosphere) or secondary air pollutants, that is,
pollutants formed in the atmosphere from the so-called
precursor gases (e.g. secondary PM, O3 and secondary
NO2). Air pollutants can also be classified as natural
and anthropogenic as a function of the origin of their
emissions or precursors.
2.1 Sources of regulated pollutants
Particulate matter (PM) is both directly emitted to
the atmosphere (primary PM) and formed in the
atmosphere (secondary PM). The chief precursor gases
for secondary PM are SO2, NOx (afamily of gases that
includes nitrogen monoxide (NO) and NO2), NH3 and
volatile organic compounds (VOCs; aclass of chemical
compounds whose molecules contain carbon). The
main precursor gases NH3, SO2 and NOx react in the
atmosphere to form ammonium, sulphate and nitrate
compounds. These compounds form new particles in
the air or condense onto pre-existing ones and form
so-called secondary inorganic aerosols. Certain VOCs are
oxidised to form less volatile compounds, which form
secondary organic aerosols.
Primary PM originates from both natural and
anthropogenic sources. Natural sources include sea
salt, naturally suspended dust, pollen and volcanic
ash. Anthropogenic sources, which are predominant
in urban areas, include fuel combustion in thermal
power generation, incineration, domestic heating for
households and fuel combustion for vehicles, as well as
vehicle (tyre and brake) and road wear and other types
of anthropogenic dust.
Black carbon (BC) is one of the constituents of fine PM
and has a warming effect. BC is a product of incomplete
combustion of organic carbon as emitted from traffic,
fossil fuels and biomass burning, and industry.
Ground-level (tropospheric) ozone (O3) is not directly
emitted into the atmosphere. Instead, it is formed from
complex chemical reactions following emissions of
precursor gases such as NOx and non-methane VOCs
(NMVOCs) of both natural (biogenic) and anthropogenic
origin. At the continental scale, CH4 and CO also play a
part in O3formation.
The major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) are
combustion processes (e.g. in fossil-fuelled vehicles
and power plants). Most NO2 is formed by the oxidation
of emissions of NO. NOaccounts for the majority
of NOx emissions, although smaller amounts of NOx
emissions are directly emitted as NO2. This applies
for most combustion sources except for newer diesel
vehicles, which may emit as much as 55% of their
NOx as NO2 (Grice et al., 2009), because their exhaust
after-treatment systems increase oxidation of NO,
which leads to higher direct NO2 emissions.
Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is emitted from the incomplete
combustion of various fuels. The main sources of BaP
in Europe are domestic home-heating, in particular
wood- and coal-burning, waste-burning, coke and steel
production, and road traffic. Other sources include
outdoor fires and rubber-tyre wear.
Sulphur oxides (SOx), a family of gases that includes
SO2 and sulphur trioxide (SO3), are mainly emitted from
the combustion of fuels containing sulphur. The main
anthropogenic emissions of SO2 derive from domestic
heating, stationary power generation and transport.
Volcanoes are the biggest natural source of SOx.
Carbon monoxide (CO) and benzene (C6H6) are gases
emitted as a result of the incomplete combustion of
fossil fuels and biofuels. Road transport was once a
major source of COemissions, but the introduction
of catalytic converters reduced these emissions
significantly.
C6H6 is an additive to petrol, and most of its emissions
come from traffic in Europe. These C6H6 emissions
have declined sharply since the introduction of
the FuelQuality Directive (EU, 2009). In general,
contributions to C6H6 emissions made by domestic
heating are small (about 5% of total emissions), but in
areas in which wood burning accounts for more than
half of domestic energy needs, it can be a substantial
local source of C6H6. Other sources include oil refining,
as well as the handling, distribution and storage of
petrol.
Sources and emissions of air pollutants
15
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Methane (CH4 ) is a precursor of tropospheric O3 and
also has a warming effect on climate. It is emitted
mainly from agriculture, waste management and
energy production.
Anthropogenic emissions of metals originate mainly
from the combustion of fossil fuels, metal production
and waste incineration. The main emissions of arsenic
(As) come from metal smelters and the combustion of
fuels. Cadmium (Cd) is emitted from non-ferrous metal
production, stationary fossil-fuel combustion, waste
incineration, iron and steel production and cement
production. Nickel (Ni) is emitted from the combustion of
fuel oil (e.g. from heating, shipping or power generation),
Ni mining and primary production, incineration of waste
and sewage sludge, steel manufacture, electroplating
and coal combustion. Lead (Pb) is emitted from fossil-
fuel combustion, waste incineration and the production
of non-ferrous metals, iron, steel and cement. The
largest anthropogenic source of mercury (Hg) emissions
to air on a global scale is the combustion of coal
and other fossil fuels. Other sources include metal
production, cement production, waste disposal and
cremation, as well as gold production.
2.2 Total emissions of air pollutants
All the primary and precursor emissions contributing
to ambient air concentrations of PM, O3 and NO2 have
decreased over the past decade (2004–2013) as a whole
in the EU-28 (Figure 2.1 top (5)) and EEA-33 countries.
The smallest reduction was for NH3 (6%) and the largest
was for SOx (58%). The exception is the total emissions
of NH3 in the EEA‑33 countries, which increased by 7%
in the same period(6).
Regarding the remaining pollutants (heavy metals and
BaP), parties under the LRTAP Convention are invited
to report emissions data for PAHs (including BaP);
this means that reporting of these pollutants is not
mandatory as for the rest, but rather is undertaken on
a voluntary basis. Emissions of BaP in the EU-28 have
increased by 10% (18tonnes/year) between 2004 and
2013 (Figure 2.1 bottom), whereas the increase in the
EEA‑33 countries' emissions was 9% (17tonnes/year) in
the same period. The fact that Austria, Belgium, Finland,
Greece and Italy did not report their emissionsfor any
of the years leaves a gap for the assessment of both
the status and trends of BaP emissions. The reporting
countries that contribute the most to BaP emissions in
the EU are Poland, Romania, and Germany, all of whose
emissions have increased in the past decade.
(5) Reporting on BC emissions is on a voluntary basis (EEA, 2015c).
(6) This increase is due to a doubling from 2012 to 2013 in the NH3 emissions reported by Turkey.
Figure2.1 (bottom) shows a decrease in the emissions of
As, Cd, Ni, Pb and Hg reported by the EU Member States
between 2004 and 2013. The greatest reduction both in
EU‑28 and EEA‑33 countries was for Niemissions (52%)
and the smallest was for emissions of As (18%).
C6H6 emissions are not included as an individual
pollutant in European emissions inventories covering
VOCs, meaning that its emissions are not recorded.
In any case, and as mentioned above, C6H6 emissions
have dropped since the introduction of the revised Fuel
Quality Directive (EU, 2009).
2.3 Sectoral emissions of air pollutants
The main source sectors contributing to emissions
of air pollutants in Europe are transport, energy,
industry, the commercial, institutional and households
sector, agriculture and waste. Figure 2.2 shows the
development of the emissions of primary PM with
a diameter of 10μm or less (PM10) and PM with a
diameter of 2.5μm or less (PM2.5), NOx, SOx, NH3,
NMVOCs, CO and BC from these sectors between 2004
and 2013. Similarly, Figure 2.3 shows the development
in emissions of BaP and the toxic metals As, Cd, Ni, Pb
and Hg.
The transport sector has considerably reduced its
emissions of air pollutants in Europe over the past
decade, as Figures 2.2 and 2.3 show, with the exception
of BaP emissions, which have increased by 9% in the
EU-28 and the EEA-33 countries from 2004 to 2013. The
highest emission reductions from transport between
2004 and 2013 were registered for SOx (67% in the
EU‑28 and 74% in the EEA‑33) and for NMVOCs (59%
in the EU‑28 and 60% in the EEA‑33). The reductions in
emissions of As and Hg were the least pronounced in
the EU-28.
The transport sector is the largest contributor to NOx
emissions, accounting for 46% of total EU‑28 emissions
(and 47% of EEA‑33 emissions) in 2013. However, NOx
emissions, and in particular NO2 emissions, from road
transport have not been reduced as much as expected
with the introduction of the vehicle emissions standards
(the so called Euro standards) since 1991, since
emissions in real-life driving conditions are often higher,
especially for diesel vehicles, than those measured
during the approval test (see Box 5.1). Transport also
remains a very important source of GHGs within the EU;
in 2012, GHG emissions from transport were 21% above
their 1990 levels (EEA, 2014c).
Sources and emissions of air pollutants
16 Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Figure 2.1 Development in EU‑28 emissions of SOX, NOX, NH3, PM10, PM2.5, NMVOCs, CO, CH4 and BC (top)
and of As, Cd, Ni, Pb, Hg, and BaP (bottom), 2004–2013 (% of 2004 levels)
Note: CH4 emissions are total emissions (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control sectors 1–7) excluding sector 5. Land use, land-use change
and forestry, and data are only available until 2012. The present emission inventories include only anthropogenic VOCs emissions. Under
the Gothenburg Protocol of the LRTAP Convention, parties are encouraged to report emissions of BC, one of the constituents of PM. It
means that reporting on BC emissions has been made on a voluntary basis and has not been made for every country.
Source: Based on EEA, 2015e.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Emissions
(% of 2004)
SOXNOXNH3PM10 PM2.5 NMVOC CO CH4BC
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
130
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Emissions
(% of 2004)
As Cd Ni Pb Hg BaP
Sources and emissions of air pollutants
17
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
0
20
40
60
80
100
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Transport
SOXNOXNH3PM10 PM2.5 NMVOC CO BC
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Commercial, institutional and households
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Industry
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Agriculture
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Waste
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Energy production and distribution
Figure 2.2 Development in EU‑28 emissions from main source sectors of SOX, NOX, NH3, PM10, PM2.5,
NMVOCs, CO and BC, 2004–2013 (% of 2004 levels)
Source: Based on EEA, 2015e.
Sources and emissions of air pollutants
18 Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Source: Based on EEA, 2015e.
Figure 2.3 Development in EU28 emissions from main source sectors of As, Cd, Ni, Pb, Hg and BaP,
2004–2013 (% of 2004 levels)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Emissions
(% of 2004)
Transport
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Commercial, institutional and households
0
50
100
150
200
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Industry
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Waste
As Cd Ni Pb Hg BaP
0
20
40
60
80
100
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Energy production and distribution
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Agriculture
Sources and emissions of air pollutants
19
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Transport also contributed to 13% and 15% of the
total PM10 and PM2.5 primary emissions, respectively,
in the EU Member States in 2013. Non-exhaust
emissions from road traffic (which are not included in
Figure2.2) contribute to total road‑traffic emissions.
Non-exhaust emissions are estimated to equal about
50% of the exhaust emissions of primary PM10, and
about 22% of the exhaust emissions of primary PM2.5
(ETC/ACC, 2009). It has been shown that even with zero
tail-pipe emissions, traffic will continue to contribute
to PM emissions through non-exhaust emissions
(Dahl et al., 2006; Kumar et al., 2013). It is estimated
that nearly 90% of total PM emissions from road
traffic will come from non-exhaust sources by 2020
(Rexeis and Hausberger, 2009). In addition, emissions
from international shipping within European seas
may contribute an additional 15% of the total PM2.5
emissions and as much as an additional 50% of total
NOx and 75% of total SOx emissions in the EU-28
(estimated for the year 2010) (EEA, 2013c).
The commercial, institutional and households fuel
combustion sector dominates the emissions of primary
PM2.5 and PM10, BaP and CO, contributing to 43% and
to 58% of the total primary PM10 and PM2.5 emissions,
respectively, and to 73% and 47% of the total BaP
and CO emissions, respectively, in the EU-28 in 2013.
Reported BaP emissions have increased by 16% from
2004 to 2013 in the EU‑28, and by 14% in the EEA‑33
countries. In addition, this sector has increased its
emissions of PM10, PM2.5, CO, Pb and As.
The use of household wood and other biomass
combustion for heating is growing in some countries,
owing to government incentives/subsidies, rising
costs of other energy sources, or an increased public
perception that it is a 'green' option. Biomass is being
promoted as a renewable fuel that can assist with
climate change mitigation and contribute to energy
security. In Sweden, for example, the use of biomass
for district heating has grown from just a few per
cent in the 1980s to nearly 50% of the district heating
energy mix in 2010, due, in part, to the introduction of a
carbon tax in 2001 (OECD/IEA, 2013). Some households
have reverted to heating with solid fuels in response
to economic hardship. This has happened recently in
Greece and Ireland, for instance.
Industry considerably reduced its air pollutant
emissions between 2004 and 2013, with the exception
of BaP emissions. It is still the largest source sector
of Pb, As, Cd, NMVOC and Ni emissions. In 2013
industry contributed to 52% and 51% of NMVOCs
total emissions in EU-28 and EEA-33 countries
respectively, 40% and 40% of Ni, 56% and 56% of Cd,
60% and 59% of Pb and 57% and 57% of As. It is also
the second-largest source of primary PM, SOx and Hg
emissions, contributing to 22% of PM10, 25% of SOx, 16%
of PM2.5 and 41% of Hg total emissions in the EU‑28 in
2013. The emissions of BaP have varied considerably
in the period but have increased by 29% from 2004
to 2013. Even if industry contributes to only 5% of the
total BaP emissions in the EU-28 in 2013, its emissions
may contribute greatly to BaP air concentrations and
population exposure locally, that is, in the vicinity of the
industrial sources.
As for industry, energy production and distribution
has made considerable reductions in its emissions.
It is, however, the biggest contributor to SOx and Hg
emissions, representing 56% and 42% of total SOx and
Hg EU-28 emissions in 2013, respectively. The energy
sector is the second most significant emitter of Ni and
NOx, contributing to 37% and 21%, respectively, of its
total emissions in the EU-28 in 2013. From 2004 to 2013
the energy sector cut its emissions of all pollutants, with
the only exception being primary PM10, in the EU-28.
Agriculture is the main sector in which emissions of
air pollutants have least decreased. The agricultural
sector is by far the greatest emitter of NH3 and was
responsible for 93% of total NH3 emissions in the
EU-28 in 2013. Its NH3 emissions have decreased by
only 6% from 2004 to 2013. European policies have
cut PM precursor gas emissions, with the exception
of NH3 from agriculture. Agriculture is now the third
most important source of PM10 primary emissions in
the EU-28, after the 'Commercial, institutional and
household fuel combustion' and industry sectors.
Its contribution to PM10 total emissions in the EU-28
was 14% in 2013. Agriculture was also the sector
responsible for the greatest CH4 emissions in the EU-28
in 2012, emitting 50% of total emissions.
The contribution of the waste sector to the total
emissions of air pollutants is relatively small, with the
exception of CH4. Waste management is the second
highest emitter of CH4, after agriculture, accounting for
31% of the total CH4 emissions in the EU-28 in 2012. It
has cut its CH4 emissions by 23% from 2003 to 2012.
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
20
Particulate matter
3 Particulate matter
Table 3.1 Air quality limit and target values, and other environmental objectives, for PM10 and PM2.5 as
given in the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive and WHO AQGs
EU Air Quality Directive WHO AQG
Size
fraction
Averaging
period
Objective and legal nature and
concentration
Comments
PM10 1 day Limit value: 50μg/m3Not to be exceeded on more than
35 days per year
50μg/m3(a)
PM10 Calendar
year
Limit value: 40μg/m320μg/m3
PM2.5 1 day 25μg/m3(a)
PM2.5 Calendar
year
Target value: 25μg/m310μg/m3
PM2.5 Calendar
year
Limit value: 25μg/m3To be met by 1 January 2015
(until then, margin of tolerance)
PM2.5 Exposure concentration
obligation(b), 20μg/m3
2015
PM2.5 Exposure reduction target(b), 0–20% reduction in exposure (depending
on the average exposure indicator in the reference year) to be met by
2020
Notes: (a) 99th percentile (3 days/year).
(b) Based on a three-year average.
Source: EU, 2008; WHO, 2006a.
3.1 European air quality standards and
World Health Organization guidelines
for particulate matter
The Ambient Air Quality Directive (EU, 2008) sets limit
values for both short-term (24-hour) and long-term
(annual) PM10 concentrations, whereas values for
only long-term PM2.5 concentration have been set
(Table 3.1). The short-term limit value for PM10 (i.e.not
more than 35 days per year with a daily average
concentration exceeding 50μg/m3) is the limit value
for PM10 that is most often exceeded in Europe. It
corresponds to the 90.4 percentile of daily PM10
concentrations in one year. The annual PM10 limit
value is set at 40μg/m3. The deadline for Member
States to meet the PM10 limit values was 1 January
2005. The deadline for meeting the target value for
PM2.5 (25μg/m3) was 1 January 2010, and the deadline
for meeting the exposure concentration obligation for
PM2.5 (20μg/m3) is 2015.
The Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) set by WHO are
stricter than the EU air quality standards for PM
(Table3.1). The recommended AQGs should be
considered as an acceptable and achievable objective
to minimise health effects. Their aim is to achieve the
lowest concentrations possible, as no threshold for
PM has been identified below which no damage to
health is observed (WHO, 2014b). The PM2.5 annual
mean guideline corresponds to the lowest levels
beyond which total, cardiopulmonary and lung cancer
mortality have been shown to increase (with >95%
confidence) in response to long-term exposure to
PM2.5 (WHO,2006a).
Particulate matter
21
Air quality in Europe — 2015 report
Map 3.1 Concentrations of PM10 in 2013
3.2 Status in concentrations
3.2.1 Exceedances of limit and target values
The EU limit value for PM10 (applying from 2005)
continues to be exceeded in large parts of Europe in
2013 according to the data of the European air quality
database (Air Quality e-reporting database, EEA, 2015a).
Map3.1 shows concentrations of PM10 in relation to
the daily limit value, which is more stringent than the
annual limit value and, therefore, more frequently
exceeded. This daily limit value for PM10 was widely
exceeded in Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and the
Balkan region but also in several urban regions across
Europe, including in the Nordic countries.
Figure3.1 shows the attainment of the PM10 daily limit
value in 2013 for all EU Member States. It indicates
that exceedance of the daily limit value was observed
in 22Member States at one or more stations. Only
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and
the United Kingdom did not record exceedances of this
limit value in 2013. The exceedances occurred in 95% of
the cases in urban or suburban areas.
In 2013, the PM2.5 concentrations were higher than
the target value (annual mean, applicable from 2010,
which will be the limit value for PM2.5 from 2015)
at several stations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Italy and Poland, as well as one station in France,
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo
under the UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99,
Romania, and Slovakia (see the dark red and red
dots in Map 3.2). Figure3.2 shows that exceedance
of the target value threshold for PM2.5 was observed
in seven Member States at one or more stations in
Notes: The map shows the 90.4 percentile of the data records in one year, representing the 36th highest value in a complete series. It is related
to the PM10 daily limit value, allowing 35 exceedances over 1year of the 50 μg/m3 threshold. The red and dark-red dots indicate stations
with exceedances of this daily limit value. Only stations with >75% of valid data have been included in the map.
Source: Based on Air Quality e-reporting database (EEA, 2015a).
70°60°50°
40°
40°
30°
30°
20°
20°
10°
10°
-10°-20°-30°
60°
50°
50°
40°
40°
30°
30°
0500 1000 1500 km
-20°
30°
Canary Is.
-30°
40°
Azores Is.
Madeira Is.
30°
20°
20°
10°
10°
90.4 percentile of PM10 daily
concentrations in 2013
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≤ 20
20–40
40–50
50–75
> 75
No data
Countries/regions not
included in the data
exchange process
µg/m3
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