AIRUSE delivers conclusions and recommendations to DG Environment (European Commission) and other stakeholders
Members from all 7 partners explained to DG Environment the conclusions on PM source apportionment, PM mitigation trials, and the consequent suggested measures to decrease PM in 5 Southern European cities (Porto, Barcelona, Milan, Florence and Athens) targeted to meet air quality standards and to approach, as much as possible, the WHO guidelines.
Final Reports available here: http://airuse.eu/outreach-dissemination/reports/
The specific PM mitigation measures experimentally tested were:
- For road dust, soil dust and African dust – street washing and dust suppressants.
- For biomass burning used in residential heating– the use of different biofuels, combustion technologies, and secondary technologies, such as catalyst converters and filters in biomass burning systems.
- For locally relevant industrial emissions – the Best Available Techniques for channelled and fugitive emissions have been reviewed.
- For road traffic – mitigation strategies applied in other European countries, such as: LEZ (Low Emission Zones); limitations to the growth of diesel cars; incorporation of electric, hybrid and gas vehicles; and the selection of procedures for eco-efficient vehicles labelling.
Main conclusions can be summarized as follows:
- Road traffic (vehicle exhaust and non-exhaust emissions including road dust resuspension) is the main source of particles in the air.
- Biomass burning is an important source of PM, except in Barcelona, where most of residential heating is powered with natural gas.
- The cause of exceedances of PM limit values can vary among cities, being mainly traffic, biomass burning and African dust intrusions.
- Systematic street washing is efficient in reducing resuspension of road dust (traffic and African dust).
- Dust suppressants (CMA and MgCl2) did not prove to be efficient in reducing PM levels in urban and industrial sites.
- Nano-polymers were found to be efficient in reducing soil resuspension in urban parks.
- Traditional residential combustion appliances should be replaced by certified equipment and the market of firewood and pellets sales should be regulated.
- Efficient low emission zones (LEZs) must be stringent and include passenger cars.
- Promoting cleaner vehicle technologies requires long term consistent policies.
- Public information on air quality implications of fuel choice is required.
The next phase of AIRUSE project will ensure the dissemination of results and recommendations to the relevant national and local stakeholders, as well as to forums for policy and science.