Assessment of the health impacts of exposure to PM2.5 at a European level ETC/ACC Technical Paper 2009/1

29 Jun 2009

Iulian Petchesi


A European PM2.5 concentrations map has been prepared on the basis of PM10 concentrations maps using PM2.5/PM10 ratios inferred from measurements. Different PM2.5/PM10 ratios are used depending on location and type of station. The resulting PM2.5 map is used to compare the current (2005) concentrations with the limit and target values as laid down in the Air Quality Directive. An annual mean concentration of 25 μg/m3 (target value for 2010, limit value for 2015) is exceeded in 12 out of the 27 EU Member States. As the map has a spatial resolution of 10x10 km, more exceedances are to be expected at hot-spot locations (city centres, traffic situation, close to local sources).

A first estimate of the health related Averaged Exposure Indicator (AEI) has been made for each of the Member States. This AEI is the averaged level at urban background locations throughout the territory of a Member State and it reflects the population exposure. By 2020 the AEI has to be reduced with a certain percentage depending on its value in 2010. This exposure reduction target ranges from 10% in the Nordic countries to more than 25% in eastern European countries.

Estimates of health impacts attributable to the exposure to PM2.5 has been made for the 2005 situation and for two sensitivity cases assuming that (i) the limit value is met everywhere and (ii) the exposure reduction target has been met by all countries. The exposure reduction approach results in a larger reduction in the burden of disease than meeting the limit values.

Prepared by: Frank de Leeuw (PBL), Jan Horálek (CHMI)(members of the ETC/ACC consortium)

Published by: ETC/ACC, Bilthoven, NL, June 2009, 21 pp.

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