Pollutant Information: PM2.5 (Particulate Matter < 2.5um) 

About PM2.5 (Particulate Matter < 2.5um)

Category: Particulate Matter

Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres (µm) is referred to as PM2.5.

UK emissions of PM2.5 have declined since 1990 due mainly to a reduction in coal use. Emissions from power stations have fallen by 91% since 1990. Domestic emissions fell between 1990 (43kt) to 2002 (27kt), reflecting declining coal use. However, emissions from this source are now back at around 1990 levels due to increased emissions from wood combustion (85% of domestic combustion emissions in 2015, compared with 13% in 1990).

In general, emissions of finer particulates follow the PM10 emission trends. Between 1990 and 2015, UK emissions of PM10 fell by 51%, while emissions of PM2.5 fell by 47%.

Emissions of PM2.5 will need to be reduced by 24% based on the 2015 total to meet the 2020 National Emission Ceilings Directive and Gothenburg Protocol targets.

» View and Download PM2.5 (Particulate Matter < 2.5um) emission summary data

Time series graph