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In 2016, air pollution due to PM10 was comparable to years before. Over the past five years PM10 has been exceeded, especially in the urban areas and in the cold half of the year. Exceedances have not been recorded in the Primorska region due to better wind conditions and lower heating needs. The exception is also Velenje – despite unfavorable meteorological conditions, there were no exceedances due to the newly developed district heating system. After 2008, the annual PM10 limit value was exceeded only at the Ljubljana Center measuring station due to traffic. The PM2,5 annual limit value has not been exceeded in Slovenia till 2016.


This indicator shows the number of days when the daily limit value for PM10 particles was exceeded and the trends in mean annual levels of PM10 and PM2.5 particles at monitoring sites in Slovenia in the period 2005–2016.

Atmospheric particles, i.e. aerosols, are tiny solid and liquid particles evenly distributed (suspended) in the air. Determination of aerosol size is of key importance in measuring and modelling aerosol dynamics. The diameter of particles is most often described by the term ‘aerodynamic diameter.’ Particles of similar shape and size, but with a different density, have a different aerodynamic diameter. Based on their diameter, we distinguish between PM10 particles (with an aerodynamic diameter below 10 µm), PM2.5 particles (with an aerodynamic diameter below 2.5 µm) and PM1.0 particles (with an aerodynamic diameter below 1 µm). The size of particles formed during the interactions between gases and particles in a gaseous or liquid state is usually under 1 µm. These are called fine particles. Particles over 1 µm in size are called coarse particles.

In terms of origin, we distinguish between primary and secondary particles. Primary particles originate from sources on land, while secondary particles result from various transformations in a polluted atmosphere. Particles can be of natural (e.g. pollen, dust, sea salt, smoke from wildfires, meteoric dust, volcano ash, etc.) or anthropogenic origin (emissions from energy facilities, industry, transport, agriculture, small heating units). Depending on their source, particles have various chemical compositions, shapes and physical states.

PM10 coarse particles are a result of soil erosion, resuspension from roads and emissions from industrial facilities. The main components of PM10 particles are secondary anorganic ions (sulphate, nitrate and ammonium) and organic matter. Their share depends on emission sources and meteorological conditions. An exception to this is when the particles are found in locations with a traffic volume that results in a large share of mineral dust in the air. Sources of coarse particles (above 2.5 µm) include transport (but not direct traffic emissions), natural sources, resuspension of particulate matter in the atmosphere and long-distance transport. PM2.5 particles are small and light – they usually remain suspended in the air for a longer period of time and travel over longer distances than larger particles.

As they enter the respiratory system, particles may cause health problems, such as irritated eyes, asthma, bronchitis, lung damage, development of cancer, etc. In addition to negative impacts on human health, particulate matter is attributed to have certain negative impacts on the environment, such as reduced visibility due to air pollution with PM2.5. The particles also affect ecosystems (acidification of rivers and lakes, eutrophication of the sea, damage to forests and crops as well as reduced biodiversity), largely due to their long-range transport because of their small size. They also may cause damage to materials and cultural monuments.


Charts

Figure ZR08-1: Number of days with exceeded 24-hour limit concentration of PM10 50 µg/m3  (may not be exceeded more than 35 times per calendar year)
Sources: 

National automatic measurement air quality network database, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, database of complementary automated measurement networks (TE Šoštanj, TE-TO Ljubljana, EIS Anhovo, MO Ljubljana, MO Celje, MO Maribor, Občina Miklavž na Dravskem polju, Občina Ruše in MO Ptuj).

Show data

Urban background

- Ljubljana Bežigrad

- Ljubljana BF

- Celje

- Hrastnik

- Koper

- Nova Gorica

- Novo mesto

- Kranj

- EIS Celje

- Velenje

- Maribor Vrbanski

- Ptuj

Suburban background

- Trbovlje

- Pesje

- Škale

- Šoštanj

Urban-traffic type

- Maribor center

- Zagorje

- Ljubljana center

- Ljubljana Gospodarsko

- Celje Mariborska

- Nova Gorica Grčna

Rural/Agricultural type

- Prapretno

- Murska Sobota - Rakičan

- Ruše

- Miklavž

Rural/Industrial type

- Morsko

- Gorenje Polje

- Žerjav

Rural type/natural background

- Iskrba

permitted exceedance

2005

68

70

0

97

0

0

37

0

0

89

0

0

0

65

157

23

15

0

111

101

143

0

0

0

0

40

15

65

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

5

35

2006

48

47

0

59

0

40

47

0

0

92

0

0

0

43

86

24

19

0

102

108

106

0

0

0

0

0

33

54

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

5

35

2007

38

46

0

48

0

19

40

0

0

0

0

0

0

35.33

81

14

11

0

95

91

99

0

0

0

0

0

36

37

0

0

17

18

16

0

0

0

35

2008

29.25

36

0

37

0

11

33

0

0

0

0

0

0

31

72

9

12

0

88

54

109

101

0

0

0

33.50

25

42

0

0

20

16

24

0

0

0

35

2009

24.60

30

25

42

0

2

24

0

0

0

0

0

0

24.33

48

12

13

0

67.67

35

56

112

0

0

0

25

20

30

0

0

15

14

16

0

5

5

35

2010

37.50

43

32

58

30

15

25

60

37

0

0

0

0

28.67

64

10

12

0

63

47

68

74

0

0

0

40.50

29

52

0

0

15.67

5

13

29

5

5

35

2011

48.44

63

51

73

51

21

28

69

55

0

0

25

0

34.67

68

16

20

0

77.67

64

75

94

0

0

0

60

49

71

0

0

36.67

13

18

79

3

3

35

2012

25.30

27

21

55

17

23

19

45

27

0

11

8

0

25.33

65

2

9

0

67.67

34

62

107

0

0

0

34.50

25

44

0

0

21.67

10

11

44

1

1

35

2013

23.73

22

24

51

15

10

12

49

28

35

8

7

0

14

50

6

0

0

52.67

36

48

74

0

0

0

20.50

3

38

0

0

15

3

5

37

0

0

35

2014

19.73

19

12

41

10

16

19

22

12

41

15

10

0

12.50

33

12

5

0

39.33

25

38

55

0

0

0

17.50

2

33

0

0

7.33

8

11

3

0

0

35

2015

33.36

43

35

70

22

28

24

40

17

76

9

3

0

14.75

50

9

0

0

63

34

70

85

0

0

0

23.50

0

47

0

0

7.67

7

10

6

0

0

35

2016

29.45

36

40

53

25

11

15

41

27

45

10

21

0

12.50

38

8

1

3

53.33

43

51

66

0

0

0

29.33

1

42

0

45

9.33

6

3

19

0

0

35

2017

29.17

30

32

49

19

18

24

33

28

39

19

21

38

20.50

39

20

9

14

41.50

35

46

51

39

57

21

33.33

0

44

17

39

7.33

6

7

9

3

3

35

Figure ZR08-2: Average annual concentration of PM10 (annual limit value is 40 µg/m3)
Sources: 

National automatic measurement air quality network database, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, database of complementary automated measurement networks (TE Šoštanj, TE-TO Ljubljana, EIS Anhovo, MO Ljubljana, MO Celje, MO Maribor, Občina Miklavž na Dravskem polju, Občina Ruše in MO Ptuj).

Figure ZR08-3: Average annual concentration (annual limit value is 25 µg/m3)
Sources: 

Database of measurements of a national network for monitoring air quality, Slovenian Environment agency, 2015.

Figure ZR08-4: Average exposure indicator (AEI) for PM2.5(a three-calendaryear running annual mean concentration averaged over last three calendar year - exposure concentration obligation that need to be met by 2015 is 20 µg/m3)
Sources: 

Database of measurements of a national network for monitoring air quality, Slovenian Environment agency, 2015.

Show data
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Ljubljana Biotehniška fakulteta µg/m3 22 23 22 20 20
Maribor Vrbanski plato µg/m3 22 21 20 18 19

Goals

Compliance with PM10 limit values in outdoor air for the protection of human health (in force since 1 January 2005):
- daily PM10 limit concentration: 50 µg/m3 (permitted number of exceedances: 35 within a calendar year),
- annual PM10 limit concentration: 40 µg/m3.

Compliance with PM2.5 limit values in outdoor air for the protection of human health:
- annual PM2.5 limit concentration that had to be complied with by 1 January 2015: 25 µg/m3,
- annual PM2.5 limit concentration that has to be complied with by 1 January 2020: 20 µg/m3.

In Figure ZR8-3, the red line marks the annual limit value of 25 µg/m3, although this annual PM2.5 limit value only had to be met in 2015. In previous years, the following PM2.5 limit values were prescribed:
- permitted concentration in 2008: 30.0 µg/m3
- permitted concentration in 2009: 29.4 µg/m3
- permitted concentration in 2010: 28.6 µg/m3
- permitted concentration in 2011: 27.9 µg/m3
- permitted concentration in 2012: 27.1 µg/m3
- permitted concentration in 2013: 26.4 µg/m3
- permitted concentration in 2014: 25.7 µg/m3

The average exposure indicator for PM2.5 expressed in µg/m3 (hereinafter: AEI) is based on the measurements taken at monitoring sites in unexposed urban environments throughout Slovenia. Sites in unexposed urban environments are monitoring sites in cities at which the levels are representative of the exposure of the urban population and are usually not influenced by a single pollution source. The AEI is to be assessed as a moving average of mean values of annual concentrations in three consecutive calendar years at sampling sites. The AEI for 2016 is a three-year moving average of concentration values at all these sampling sites for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The prescribed exposure level from 2015 onwards is 20 µg/m3, which was to be complied with by 2015. The AEI is used to verify compliance with the permitted exposure level and to verify whether the target reduction in exposure has been complied with at the national level. The data is presented in Table ZR8-4.


In 2016, PM10 levels were slightly lower than a year earlier. The permitted number of exceedances of the daily PM10 limit value (35) was surpassed at ten monitoring sites in urban environments. In the continental part of Slovenia, the permitted number of exceedances was surpassed at the urban monitoring sites of Kranj, Hrastnik, Velenje and Maribor-Vrbanski plato. As usual, the permitted number of daily limit value exceedances was not surpassed at monitoring sites in the Primorska region. The largest number (66) of exceedances in 2016 was recorded at the Ljubljana Center monitoring site, where traffic volume is very high. The annual PM10 limit value was not exceeded at any of the monitoring sites in 2016, although the average annual PM10 concentration of the Ljubljana Center monitoring site was very close to the limit value.

In the last period, elevated levels of particulate matter seem to largely be a result of combustion of biomass in small heating units. Burning of firewood in obsolete old furnaces and boilers represents the highest share in particulate matter emissions. In addition, extremely unfavourable meteorological conditions can be characteristic of the winter season, when polluted air is trapped in basins and valleys for longer periods of time due to frequent and distinct temperature inversions.

Pollution trends in the period 2002–2006 indicate that higher levels were measured in 2016 than in 2014. Nevertheless, a decreasing trend of particulate matter levels has been recorded from 2002 onwards, especially at urban locations. We estimate that this is largely a consequence of reduced emissions from industry. In recent winters, favourable weather conditions have contributed to reduced concentrations. In the rural environment, the trend of decreasing levels of particulate matter is less distinct. In rural areas, the use of wood biomass for heating is on the rise, which contributes to increased emissions. Consequently, the impact of favourable weather conditions in recent winters has not been so strong. A similar trend has been observed in the number of days with an exceeded daily limit value. For PM2.5 particles, the only limit value that has been defined is annual, which is favourable as regards specific conditions in Slovenia. In Slovenia, elevated values of particulate matter are characteristic of winter months, while lower concentrations in the warm period of the year contribute to the reduced annual average. Since the beginning of measurements, as well as in 2016, the PM2.5 limit value has not been exceeded at any of the four monitoring sites. Annual trends of PM2.5 levels indicate that air pollution with PM2.5 particles remain more or less at the same level.

In 2016, the indicator of average exposure to PM2.5 was 21 µg/m3 (LJ Biotehniška) and 18 µg/m3 (MB Vrbanski) in the unexposed urban environment. The permitted exposure level (20 µg/m3) for 2016 was exceeded at the Ljubljana Biotehniška fakulteta monitoring site.



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