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Study on the spatial variability of urban background PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations

Report | 07-04-2009
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Measurements have shown that the spatial variability of urban background concentrations of particulate matter (PM) was about the same as the measurements’ estimated inaccuracy. The differences were 10% or less. The measurements were consistent with the results form the standard air quality calculations for the Netherlands, which are produced annually, for air quality reports.

From a policy point of view, particulate matter in urban areas is particularly important, because concentrations tend to be high in urban areas, where many people are exposed to the elevated concentrations. In 2008, an EU target value for PM2.5 was established to reduce exposure to particulate matter in urban areas. The PM2.5 target value must be monitored by means of measurements. However, the knowledge on particulate matter in urban areas is still rather small.

This report describes a study on spatial variability, spatial representativeness and temporal variability of urban background concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5, in the city of Rotterdam. The study was carried out by TNO and ECN as part of the Netherlands Research Program on Particulate Matter (BOP).

Two monitoring campaigns in 2007 and 2008, held in Rotterdam, showed the spatial variability of urban background PM concentrations to be similar to the measurements’ estimated inaccuracy. The spatial variability was less than 10% for PM10 and less than 5% for PM2.5. The measurements suggested the existence of an urban PM plateau, with relatively small differences among regional background concentrations and a more or less constant level of urban background PM concentrations. To reduce the uncertainty in determining urban background levels, multiple urban background monitoring locations are recommended.

More information

Author(s)Voogt MH ; Keuken MP ; Weijers EP ; Kraai A
Report no.500099010
Publication date07-04-2009
ISSN1875-2322 (print); 1875-2314 (on line)
Pages60
Languageen