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Ultrafine particles, (UFP), are the smallest constituents of airborne particulate matter and are considered to be causing serious health problems and environmental effects. They may nucleate as a result of combustion processes or result from photochemical reactions of volatile precursor gases, thus showing a clear link to gaseous pollution. Recently, direct emission of man-made nanoparticles, e.g. from the incineration or degradation of synthetic nanomaterials, has attracted considerable attention.
Apart from the specific role of UFP in air quality, they play also a key role in atmospheric processes such as cloud formation and precipitation and, in fact,in climate. The relation between UFP and human health and that of UFP and climate are both areas of active research and cross-links between these fields are found nowadays. The new subtitle of the conference series: "air quality and climate” reflects this development.
Present policies to decrease exposure to particulate matter make use of the mass-based metrics PM10/PM2.5, which do not properly represent all risks for human health. EFCA is, therefore, in favour of the development of a fraction-by-fraction approach, both with respect to size and chemical composition.
It already recommended European policymakers the introduction of Black Carbon Particles as additional metric in the Air Quality Directive.Click here to read more