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 in the domestic, commercial and institutional sector have fallen from a total of 48 ktonnes in 1990 to 41 ktonnes in 2014. In recent years, domestic combustion of wood has become an increasingly important sector. In 1990, domestic combustion of wood contributed 1% to total PM2.5 emissions; this figure has increased to 32% in 2014.

In general, emissions of finer particulates follow the PM10 emission trends. Between 1990 and 2014, UK emissions of PM10 fell by 50%, while emissions of PM2.5 fell by 46%.

Emissions of PM2.5 will need to be reduced by 38% based on the 2014 total to meet the 2020 Gothenburg Protocol target.

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

Time series graph