Indicator: Population exposure to traffic noise

A graph shows the proportion of people exposed to traffic noise above 55 decibels during the day and above 50 decibels at night, as observed in the 2022 noise mappings. It differentiates between road, aircraft and rail traffic noise.

According to the 2022 noise mapping, about 17.0 % of the total population was adversely affected by night-time noise.They further showed that 25.1 % of the population was exposed to a noise level of above 55 decibels during the day.The main source of noise is road traffic. Aircraft noise hardly plays a role in the area assessment.Noise that exceeds exposure limits can lead to health problems. read more

Indicator: Population exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5)

A graph shows the proportion of people in Germany affected by exceeding the guideline value and the World Health Organisation's interim target 4 for particulate matter (PM2.5) from 2010 to 2021 - with a descending trend with regard to interim target 4.

Since 2010, the population's PM2.5 exposure above an annual average of 10 µg/m³ (interim target 4 of the new guideline values of the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 2021, equal to the old WHO guideline value from 2005) has decreased significantly in Germany.However, between 2010 and 2021, almost the entire population was exposed to particulate matter levels above the current WHO guideline val... read more

Indicator: Population exposure to particulate matter (PM10)

A graph shows the proportion of people in Germany affected by exceedances of the World Health Organization's 2021 guideline value for particulate matter (PM10) from 2010 to 2021. The share was consistently close to 100 % throughout the entire period.

Between 2010 and 2021, the proportion of the population exposed to PM10 concentrations above the WHO guideline value decreased from 90.5 % to 20.3 %.Comprehensive measures to reduce particulate matter pollution in Germany are absolutely essential for health protection.New EU limit values for particulate matter, which are to apply from 2030 as part of the revision of the EU Air Quality Directive, a... read more

Indicator: Population-weighted particulate matter exposure (PM10)

A graph shows the population-weighted fine particulate pollution (PM10) annual mean for Germany from 2010 to 2021. The load decreased significantly by 33 % from 2010 to 2021.

Population-weighted particulate matter (PM10) levels in Germany were significantly lower in 2021 than in 2010.In 2021, the population-weighted particulate matter exposure was 13.0 micrograms per cubic meter on average for the year. This is 33 % less than in 2010.The decrease in exposure is due to declining emissions from stationary sources (e.g., power plants, waste incineration plants, domestic f... read more


Reference and HBM Values

Urine and blood specimen in tubes on a questionaire for laboratory analysis

The reference value allows the comparison of the exposure of individuals or population groups with the background exposure. Since environmental conditions are changing reference values are checked continuously and are updated if new information becomes available.The reference value for a chemical substance in human biological material (e.g. blood, urine) is derived according to a defined statistic... read more

The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment