EU directive to reduce concentration levels of atmospheric microparticles
On 11th December the European parliament voted in favour of new legislation on air quality.
MEPs agreed binding targets on the level of PM 2.5 microparticles (diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) and accepted the Council's common position regarding maximum concentrations of the largest microparticles (PM10). These are to be reduced to 40µg/m3 on average per year, although no precise date is set by which this level should be reached.
Information on the categories of particulate matter (PM) or microparticles
Press release of the European Parliament regarding air quality directive
Eurostat publishes the following air quality indicators
Urban population exposure to air pollution by particulate matter
(Population weighted annual mean concentration of particulate matter)
Urban population exposure to air pollution by ozone
Air pollutant - Total national emissions on particulates less 10µm in thousands of tons between 2004-2000 (MS Excel file)
Bar chart: Emissions in 2004
Eurostat Online Database topic: Air pollution/Climate changing
Energy, Transport and Environment Indicators
The multi-thematic pocketbook entitled "Energy, Transport and Environment Indicators" comprises a broad set of data collected by Eurostat and the European Environment Agency.
Information on the situation in Germany
More information on not only on microparticles but also on the general
can be accessed on the German Federal Environment Agency
In Germany three cities introduced so called environmental zones on 1st January 2008 in order to reduce microparticle pollution. Every vehicle entering an environmental zone - no matter whether it is registered in Germany or another country - now needs to display an environmental badge. These badges have unrestricted validity for the individual vehicle and all German environmental zones. Starting in March 2008 other German cities are also planning to introduce similar restrictions.
The new environmental zones in Germany