Air pollution by particulate matter (PM) in Europe, 2004

Source of the photo
Author of the description
Gruiz Katalin

The Particulate Matter (PM) pollution of air was above limit value at the lilic-coloured area of Europe in 2004. These are Northern Italy, South of Poland, and Rumania, the delta of Danube.  We can see many red-coloured regions, where air pollution, due to PM is close to the limit value. 

Some particulates in air occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. But most PM is antropogenic.

Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes also generate significant amounts of aerosols. Averaged over the globe, anthropogenic aerosols currently account for about 10 percent of the total amount of aerosols in our atmosphere. Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart disease, altered lung function, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and lung cancer.

Have a look on the forecast for 2020!