Total Suspended Particles, TSP
Particles (TSP) include particles of all sizes.1 Particles consists of a complex mix of particles consisting of organic and inorganic substances that are suspended in the air.2
Particles do not have any specific applications but are formed as pollutants as a result of both natural and anthropogenic activity.
Sources and transportation pathways
Primary particles are directly emitted to the atmosphere, whereas secondary particles are formed in the atmosphere through reaction with other substances, such as sulphate and nitrate.3 In most urban environments, both coarse and fine particles are present, but the proportion between these particle sizes are likely to vary between cities worldwide depending on local topography, meteorology and specific emission sources.4
TSP is emitted to the atmosphere both from natural and anthropogenic sources. Natural sources include sea salt, sand storms, fires, pollen and volcanic ash.5, 6 TSP emissions from anthropogenic sources arise during different types of combustion processes and during mechanic wear. The largest anthropogenic sources in Sweden are, in decreasing order, the transport sector (mainly from the wear of tyres, roads and brakes), the industry (with the pulp and paper industry and printing as the dominating sources), and space heating of residential buildings (primarily from biomass and wood burning).7
Effects on environment and health
Fine particles can travel far distances before deposited. Their effect on the environment vary depending on the particle composition. Particles containing sulphur may for example contribute to acidification whereas particles containing nitrogen may contribute to eutrophication.8, 9
Coarse particles can travel to the lungs whereas fine particles can pass the lung barrier and end up in the blood. Chronic exposure to particles increases the risk of developing heart and respiratory illnesses, as well as lung cancer. The entire population is affected, but depending on health or age, people are susceptible to different degrees.10
International agreements and regulations
Particles are regulated by the UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and the EU Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU).
1 http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/78638/E90038.pdf2 https://www.eea.europa.eu/3 http://www.airclim.se/luftkvalitet4 http://apps.who.int/ 5 https://www.eea.europa.eu/6 https://www.eea.europa.eu/7 http://www.statistikdatabasen.scb.se/pxweb/sv/ssd/START__MI__MI0108/?rxid=5f5d2d49-2c01-4d75-98e6-dce2ddf03238 8 https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/health-and-environmental-effects-particulate-matter-pm 9 https://www.greenfacts.org/en/ 10 http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-(outdoor)-air-quality-and-health