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Introduction to particulate matter . Dr David Russell Unit Head Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (Wales). Contents. 1 – Introduction to particulates 2 – Particulates and health 3 – Air Quality Objective 4 – Air Pollution Index

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introduction to particulate matter

Introduction to particulate matter

Dr David Russell

Unit Head

Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (Wales)


1 – Introduction to particulates

2 – Particulates and health

3 – Air Quality Objective

4 – Air Pollution Index

5 – Findings of Review of Particulate Matter Report (Dr C Johnson)

particulate matter pm
Particulate MatterPM

Particles are produced from a variety of natural and man made sources.

  • Natural sources include sea salt, wild fires, volcanic activity, Saharan sand.
  • Man-made sources include road traffic (brake dust, exhausts, road salt), bonfires, industrial activity

Particulate matter is generally classified by particle size

PM10 – i.e. Particulate Matter of less than 10 millionths of a metre (10 micrometers or 10mm) in diameter. In general particles in this size range are not visible to the naked eye.

PM2.5 –this is a subset of PM10 and relates to Particulate Matter of less the 2.5 millionths of a metre (2.5mm) in diameter.

in ambient air PM2.5 fraction approx. 70% of total PM10

particulates and health
Particulates and Health

Acute exposure to PM10 associated with increases in:

  • number of hospital admissions for respiratory disease patients
  • increases in reported symptoms among asthmatic patients.

i.e increased risk for those already susceptible.

Increases in all cause, cardiopulmonary and lung cancer mortality linked to chronic exposure to PM2.5.

Long term effects are more strongly linked to PM2.5 than PM10 and therefore PM2.5 of greater public health concern

air quality objective
Air Quality Objective

Set by Air Quality Regulations 2010

  • Annual mean concentration should be no more than 40mg m3.
  • 24 hour mean concentration (max 50 mg m3) is exceeded on no more than 35 occasions per year.
  • annual mean concentration of PM2.5 particles of less than 25 mg m3 by 2010 with this becoming a legal limit by 2015.

Particulate matter is ubiquitous from natural and man-made sources therefore the objective represents a balance between protection of vulnerable populations and levels which are as low as practicable.

air pollution index
Air Pollution Index

Approved by UK Committee On Medical Effects of Air Pollution (COMEAP) for describing acute impact of particulate matter pollution

review of particulate matter air quality and emissions data

Review of Particulate Matter(Air Quality and Emissions Data)

Dr Christopher Johnson

Senior Environmental Scientist

Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (Wales)

  • Methodology
  • UK and Regional Background
  • Point Source Emissions from Padeswood Cement Works
  • General Air Quality
  • Directional Analysis
  • Specific Air Quality Events
  • Conclusions
methodology data collection
Methodology(Data Collection)
  • Particulate data acquired from a number of positions around Hanson Cement from 2004-2009

15 minute average data

    • Environment Agency (2005-2007) – Penyfordd
    • Hanson Cement (2004 – 2009) - Penyfordd
    • Local Authority (2008-2009) – Mold
    • Emission Watch (2005-2009) – Various

1hr Average data

    • DEFRA (2007) – Wrexham

24hr Average data

    • DEFRA(2002-2009) - Wrexham
methodology general statistics
Methodology(General Statistics)

General air quality statistics calculated:

  • Annual mean
  • 24hr Midnight to Midnight mean for comparison with Air Quality objectives
  • 24hr Running mean for comparison with Air Pollution Index
  • Directional analysis based on meteorological data collected

Events for further analysis were selected based on:

  • Complaints
  • Reportable Events
  • Air Qualty
background uk pm 10 and pm 2 5
BackgroundUK PM10 and PM2.5

PM2.5 – 2006 2010

Over study period a general reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations are seen across the UK.

background regional pm 10
BackgroundRegional PM10



8.01 – 10.0 ug m3 10.01 – 12.0 ug m3 12.01 - 14.0 ug m3 14.01 – 16.0 ug m3

16.01 – 18.0ug m3 18.01 – 20.0 ug m3 >20 ugm3

emissions from hanson cement
Emissions from Hanson Cement

Environmental Permits set limits for emissions of particulates from point sources at the site

Two aspects to examining emissions

What are the limits?

How much is actually being emitted?

emissions from hanson cement1
Emissions from Hanson Cement

Permitted emissions reduced since 1999

total emissions from point sources
Total Emissions from point sources

Total Annual Point Source Emissions from Hanson Cement Works

point source emissions in context
Point Source Emissions in Context

Compared to other emitters

  • Ranked 4th in Flintshire (<9% of total)
  • Ranked 9th in 15 mile radius (<2%)

<1 Tonne pa 1-5 Tonnes pa 5-10 Tonnes pa 10-15 Tonnes pa

 15-20 Tonnes pa >20 Tonnes pa

general air quality
General Air Quality
  • Well below Air Quality Objective annual mean 40ug m3
  • No recorded exceedance of AQO

Decrease in annual PM10 concentrations in line with predicted national trends

Generally good agreement between monitoring positions

air quality in wales
Air Quality in Wales

Air quality similar to rural AURN station at Narberth (Pembrokeshire)

Lower than most Urban stations in Wales

general air quality key points
General Air QualityKey Points

General air quality is good and has been improving.

  • Improvements in particulate pollution are in line with UK trends
  • Air quality is in line with expectations from background modelling
  • Air quality is better than areas in South Wales where particulate monitoring occurs
directional analysis
Directional Analysis

EA- Mobile Monitoring Facility 2005/6 – PM10

Evidence that there is a source of coarse particles (>PM2.5) in direction of Hanson Cement is measureable in Penyfordd.

Main contributor to PM2.5 concentrations are strong easterly winds. This is in line with UK trend

EA- MMF 2005/6 – PM2.5

directional analysis key points
Directional AnalysisKey Points

Some evidence that of course particles source in direction of Hanson Cement affecting Penyfordd.

  • Source is not a major contributor of smaller particles <PM2.5
  • No clear evidence of this source at other sites
  • Magnitude of source reducing over time

Elevated PM2.5 particles associated with Easterly winds at all sites

  • Related to particulates in long range transport from continental Europe
specific air quality events
Specific Air Quality Events

Criteria used to select events highlighted 95 individual events that fitted criteria for further analysis

  • Complaints frequency (13)
  • Part A Incidents (21)
  • Top 5 peaks per monitor per year (44)
  • Air pollution index (17)
issues identified
Issues identified

Analysis identified three issues common issues

  • Night time increases in particulate concentrations in Penyfordd
  • Very high particulate peaks South of Buckley
  • Monitoring discrepancies
night time peaks at penyfordd
Night time peaks at Penyfordd
  • high correlation between time and peak occurrence in Penyfordd
  • 8hr average concentrations in Penyfordd are higher at night.
  • pattern not evident at other monitors
  • high concentrations associated with a drop in wind speed.
  • no difference if kiln shutdown or operational
night time peaks in penyfordd
Night time peaks in Penyfordd

Possibly due to inversion layer?

night time peaks in penyfordd key points
Night time peaks in Penyfordd Key Points

Evidence of a phenomenon that is not fully understood

Magnitude of peaks not sufficient to cause concern based on air quality standard

Highest concentrations are in evening or night when people are outside less

No evidence cement kiln is a major contributor to peaks

peaks near buckley
Peaks near Buckley

57 similar events characterised by

  • Peak with very large PM10 concentration
  • PM2.5 concentration also increases
  • occur over broad range of wind direction
  • evenly distributed with wind speed
peaks near buckley key points
Peaks near Buckley Key Points

The peaks identified are of significant magnitude to cause acute effects for exposed individuals.

Majority of occurrence is during the daytime when exposure is most likely.

There is evidence that Hanson Cement is not the cause or even a major contributor to these events.

monitoring discrepancies
Monitoring discrepancies

In general extremely good correlation between monitors

monitoring discrepancies1
Monitoring discrepancies

March 2006-Sept 2008

Underreporting of ambient concentrations at operators monitoring station in Penyfordd

Errors may continue until end of 2009

monitoring discrepancies key points
Monitoring discrepanciesKey Points

Errors in ambient monitoring results from the operator did exist and these have been raised with the regulator.

No reliable data could be obtained for this review after March 2006 from the Hanson Cement monitor.

Emission Watch monitors, DEFRA, and the EA-MMF provide a consistent and reassuring picture of air quality over the period and allow confidence in the report conclusions.


Air quality around Hanson Cement:

  • is good
  • is in line with expectations.
  • is improving

Emissions from the plant:

  • have reduced over study period (2000-2009)
  • are <2% of point source emissions within 15 miles of the plant
public health conclusion
Public Health Conclusion

Over the study period the impact on health from exposure to particulates from all sources in the area are likely to have decreased.

Increases in concentrations of PM2.5 particles (i.e. those that give most concern for long term health impact) are associated with national not local phenomenon.

None of the evidence examined suggests that particle concentrations locally are likely to pose a special risk to health.