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PM10 levels too high in certain towns


4.4 To ensure safe air quality. Current knowledge indicates that air is safe to breathe if concentrations of pollutants are below the following limits: – Annual mean concentration of PM10: 20 μg/m3 – Annual mean concentration of PM2.5: 8 μg/m3 – Annual mean concentration of NO2: 40 μg/m3


Trends in annual mean concentration of PM10, focusing on places where levels exceed the levels considered to be safe

Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

The national air quality targets apply to the entire country, but pollution problems are greatest in towns. Measurements show that particular matter (PM10) is a problem in certain towns in Norway.

The national target is exceeded in both large and small towns. Until 2010, there was a small reduction in PM10 levels, but over the last five years levels have been relatively stable in most places.

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The reason why PM10 levels in Norwegian towns exceed the national target varies from place to place. 

The most important sources are usually resuspension of road dust due to wear on asphalt, tires and brakes. Variations between towns are due to the number of cars with studded tires, the implementation of dust reducing measures, and the presence of other local sources such as industry as well as the size of the town and climatic conditions.

Wood-burning and long-range air pollution are also important sources.

Future PM10 levels

The national target for PM10 is likely to be exceeded in the coming years, unless measures against  resuspension of road dust are intensified.

A decrease in PM10 levels depends on a reduction in the use of studded tires, and that all towns implement efficient dust reduction measures adapted to local conditions.