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particulate matter


Special Exposure Situations

Smog during sunrise in Shanghai

Exceptional exposure situations deserve special consideration. They occur when usual or expected environmental conditions are not met. Human health is particularly at risk in these often extreme stressful situations, therefore environmental hygiene and environmental medicine take up a position on such topics. read more


Low-emission zones in Germany

Road sign for  a low-emission zone

The new low-emission zone made effective in the town of Aachen (Level 3, Baden-Württemberg) in February brings the total number of low-emission zones in Germany to 52. read more



Indicator: Air quality in agglomerations

A graph shows how strongly, on average, urban background levels of three main air pollutants in German agglomerations exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations between 2000 and 2017. The trend for the different pollutants varies. Between 2000 and 2017, the values for nitrogen dioxide were between 35.9 and 5.5 percent, for ozone between 71.0 and 54.2 percent and for particulate matter (PM2.5) between 77.3 and 20.1 percent.

The background levels of three main air pollutants in German agglomerations exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) guide line values and effect thresholds.Close to sources, pollutant levels can even be significantly higher.The situation regarding nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter has greatly improved since 2000.Ozone and particulate matter pollution is very dependent on the weather. Levels t... read more


Indicator: Population exposure to particulate matter pollution

A graph shows the number of people in Germany exposed to particulate levels (PM10) that exceed the guideline values of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It reveals that the exposure of the population fell significantly between 2007 and 2014. Areas with high levels of traffic pollution were neglected in the diagramme.

The exposure of the population to particulate matter in areas not affected by intensive traffic has substantially decreased since 2007.Particulate matter concentrations in ambient air are considerably affected by weather conditions which may vary substantially within the year and from one year to another.The Federal Government’s aim is that the guideline value of the World Health Organisation (WHO... read more


Indicator: Health risks due to particulate matter

A graph shows the number of premature deaths due to particulate-matter related diseases. It differentiates between cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer. The number of deaths fell between 2007 and 2015.

In 2015, about 41,500 premature deaths in Germany can be attributed to ambient particulate matter pollution.The adverse health effects of particulate matter decreased in recent years however, the health threat associated with particulate matter pollution is still too high.The Federal Government has set a target to further reduce particulate matter emissions. read more


The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment