Particulate matter and gaseous pollutants in the Mediterranean Basin: Results from the MED-PARTICLES project

Publié le 1 Août 2014
Mis à jour le 10 septembre 2019

Previous studies reported significant variability of air pollutants across Europe with the lowest concentrations generally found in Northern Europe and the highest in Southern European countries. Within the MED-PARTICLES project the spatial and temporal variations of long-term PM and gaseous pollutants data were investigated in traffic and urban background sites across Southern Europe. The highest PM levels were observed in Greece and Italy (Athens, Thessaloniki, Turin and Rome) while all traffic sites showed high NO2 levels, frequently exceeding the established limit value. High PM2.5/PM10 ratios were calculated indicating that fine particles comprise a large fraction of PM10, with the highest values found in the urban background sites. It seems that although in traffic sites the concentrations of both PM2.5 and PM10 are significantly higher than those registered in urban background sites, the coarse fraction PM2.5-10 is more important at the traffic sites. This fact is probably due to the high levels of resuspended road dust in sites highly affected by traffic, a phenomenon particularly relevant for Mediterranean countries. The long-term trends of air pollutants revealed a significant decrease of the concentration levels for PM, SO2 and CO while for NO2 no clear trend or slightly increasing trends were observed. This reduction could be attributed to the effectiveness of abatement measures and strategies and also to meteorological conditions and to the economic crisis that affected Southern Europe. (R.A.)

Auteur : Karanasiou A, Querol X, Alastuey A, Perez N, Pey J, Perrino C, Berti G, Gandini M, Poluzzi V, Ferrari S, de la Rosa J, Pascal M, Samoli E, Kelessis A, Sunyer J, Alessandrini E, Stafoggia M, Forastiere F
The Science of the total environment, 2014, vol. 488-489, p. 297-315