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 2010, Scottish emissions of PM10 fell by 57%.4
The Air Quality Strategy (AQS)5 objectives for PM10 come in two stages. Stage 1 sets objectives of: a 24 hour mean of 50μg/m3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year, and an annual mean of 40μg/m3 (both were to be achieved by the end of 2004). Stage 2 sets longer term objectives of: a 24 hour mean of 50μg/m3 not to be exceeded more than 7 times a year, and an annual mean of 18μg/m3 (both to be achieved by the end of 2010).
In 2012, the Stage 1 objectives were met at all of the automatic monitoring sites.6 The Stage 2 annual mean objective was not met at 8 of 58 automatic monitoring sites in Scotland in 2012. Five sites also failed to meet the Scottish daily mean objective. Since 2010, Edinburgh Salamander Street has not met the stage two Scottish objectives.
Email: Callum Neil
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