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Air Quality - PM10 Concentration

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: September 17, 2019

PM 10 Concentration

Particulate pollution can harm the human respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and is linked to asthma and mortality. Smaller particles are the most damaging and current targets focus on particles less than 10µm in diameter (PM10).

Coal burning, diesel combustion, construction, mining and quarrying are the major sources of particulate emissions. Between 1990 and 2016, Scottish emissions of PM10 fell by 64%.

The Air Quality Strategy 1 objectives for PM10 come in two stages. Stage 1 (to be met by the end of 2004): a 24-hour mean of 50µg/m3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year, and an annual mean of 40µg/m3. Stage 2 (to be met by the end of 2010): a 24-hour mean of 50µg/m3 not to be exceeded more than seven times a year, and an annual mean of 18µg/m3. In 2017 the Stage 1 objectives have been met at all SAQD sites, with a minimum data capture rate of 75%. In 2018, the Stage 2 annual mean objective of 18μg/m3 was not met at 2 out of 64 monitoring sites in Scotland with more than 75% data capture, compared to 1 of 64 sites in 2017.

PM10 concentration 2018


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Source: Scotland Air Quality Data and Statistics Database

Note (1): Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government and DOE Northern Ireland. The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

(2): All values displayed in the chart are at the 50% data capture rate. If the data capture rate for any site is below 50% then the figure will not be included in the chart. When assessing whether sites met the Air Quality Strategy objectives, only those sites with 75% data capture rate are included.

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