Annual mean concentration (µg/m3)
Particulate pollution can harm the human respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and is linked to asthma and mortality. Smaller particles are the most damaging and current targets focus on particles less than 10µm in diameter (PM10).
The greatest source of PM10 is combustion. Between 1990 and 2009, Scottish emissions of PM10 fell by 60%.
The UK Air Quality Strategy objectives for PM10 (to be met by the end of 2004) are: a 24-hour mean of 50µg/m3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year, and an annual mean of 40µg/m3. More stringent Scottish Air Quality Strategy objectives (to be met by the end of 2010) are: a 24-hour mean of 50µg/m3 not to be exceeded more than seven times a year, and an annual mean of 18µg/m3.
In 2011, the UK AQS objectives were met at all of the automatic monitoring sites. The Scottish annual mean objective was not met at 21 of 53 automatic monitoring sites in Scotland in 2011. Nine sites also failed to meet the Scottish daily mean objective.
Email: Sandy McPhee
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