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Background to the project


Although air quality has improved considerably in recent decades, not all problems that cause air pollution have been solved. Airborne fine particles still have a significant impact on our health. It is expected that the lifetime exposure to the current  concentrations of particulate matter lead to a reduction in our average life expectancy by one year.


Extensive road networks, intensive livestock industries and high population densities are factors which make economically strong urbanized regions extra vulnerable. It is estimated that the costs in the EU for the treatment of lung diseases, that are directly or indirectly caused by poor air quality, could rise to as much as € 50 billion every year.

Recent research shows that other pollutants (such as the even smaller ultra fine particles and “Black Carbon”) are more likely to be linked to health problems, than the current parameters of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter less than 10μm). Presently there is no sufficient knowledge nor a clear understanding of the presence of these particles, especially at local and regional level. This means that it is presently unclear to what extent the abatement measures that are currently being implemented – although clearly contributing to an improvement of the overall air quality – also will have the expected impact on public health.


JOAQUIN project


    Capacity building