Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

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CAFE directive vs. local regulations on air quality in the EU

The concentration of particular matter is one of the indicators of air quality. Even though the toxic gas levels also play a significant role in smog formation, the PM is the main culprit. And, additionally, it’s a pollutant with the most noticeable influence on human health. The particles are measured in micrometers – a unit that stands between the millimetres and nanometres. It also serves for specifying the size of some bacteria or blood cells. That can give you an idea of how small these particles are. No wonder that it can easily enter our respiratory system and then into the bloodstream. This way, it can reach the organs, causing long-term damages.

The monitoring of particulate matter is essential to public health safety. When the PM concentration reaches worrying levels, the authorities are obliged to inform the local communities and take action against the air pollution. However, the standards differ significantly depending on the country. What about the European Union directives? Let’s take a closer look into it.

CAFE directive – the set of standards estabilished by the EU

The CAFE directive was released to fight the air pollution problem in the member states. The document focuses on specifying the intracommunity norms for air quality. It also defines the way the countries should react to the exceedances. It sets up the standards for the levels of PM 10 and PM 2.5 (the numbers refer to the size of particles in micrometers). The same goes for heavy metals and toxic gases. The directive obliges the member states to test samples and protect the air quality whenever the norms are exceeded. It specifies the ways to fight air pollution by recommending the limitation of car traffic and controls of the industrial emitters.

What did the CAFE change?

Even though the directive specifies … Read the rest