Risks of ultrafine particles in open air

Ultrafine particulate matter (UFP) in outdoor air consists of a mixture of particles smaller than 0.1 micrometers (100 nanometers) up to 1 nanometer. These particles are released during combustion processes. Ultrafine particles are so small that, after inhalation, they end up deep in our lungs. Consequently, they can affect other parts of our body via the bloodstream.

There is increasing evidence that long-term exposure to ultrafine particles has a negative impact on health, in particular on the respiratory tract, heart and blood vessels, and fetal development and growth. This is in addition to the effects of other components of air pollution, such as particulate matter (particles with a diameter smaller than 10 micrometers) and nitrogen dioxide.

The Dutch Health Council therefore makes various recommendations to limit the emission of ultrafine particles from, for example, road traffic, air traffic and industry. The council also recommends structural monitoring of ultrafine particle concentrations in the Netherlands.

Read the full report – in Dutch – here …

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