Sciencen Communication: Public Participation Plan

Risk Assessment- Fine Particles
Risk Assessment- Fine Particles

Risk description 1
Risk perception: stakeholders 4
Risk management 6
Advice for risk communication 8
References 10

Risk description
One of the leading environmental threats is air pollution. Air pollution means the presence of solid or liquid particulates which are suspended in the air. Particulate matter (PM) differs in physical (size) and chemical composition and stems from various natural and anthropogenic (resulting from human activities) sources. (1,2,3)
PM can either be particles directly emitted into the air (primary particles) or particles formed in the air from the chemical transformation of gaseous pollutants (secondary particles) (2). Primary particles are of natural and anthropogenic origin, including soil- related particles, sodium chloride from sea water splashes, elemental carbon particles from the combustion of fossil fuels, or particles from construction/ demolition processes (²). Secondary particles, or secondary aerosol, are entirely of anthropogenic origin and primarily ammonium sulphate and nitrate which are formed in the air from gaseous emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and ammonia (NH3). (1,2,3) Those substances are most commonly found in combustion processes, energy generation, shipping, traffic, and industry. Notably, the agricultural sector is responsible for the main production of NH3 (about 90% of the emission). (²)
Based on the diameter (in µm) of the particle we discriminate between two major fractions of particulate matter (PM). (1,2,3)
  * PM10 for particles with a diameter up to 10µm.
  * PM2,5 for particles with a diameter up to 2,5µm.

Fig 1: Logarithmic size distribution of fine particles above land (red), cities (black) or sea (blue). (²)

Fig 1: Logarithmic size distribution of fine particles above land (red), cities (black) or sea (blue). (²)

Particles of different sizes are distributed within the air,...