Group on Nitrogen Dioxide European Commission

Directorate-General XI

At the meeting of National Experts on Air Quality Group, 5 July 1995, four working

groups were established for preparation of position papers for the development of

daughter legislation required under the draft Council Directive on Ambient Air

Quality Assessment and Management. The Directive was adopted by Council on 27

September 1996 (96/62/EC). It is referred to in this document as the Framework

Directive (FWD).

This position paper has been developed for NO2 by a working group lead by Denmark

and Sweden with participants from Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Commission’s

Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Environment Agency (EEA), industry, NGOs

and DGXI. Representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) were invited

to participate when relevant.

This position paper has been prepared in accordance with the recommendations from

the Commission (AAQ/95/1/2) including the amendments from the meeting on 5 July

1995.

The Working Group (WG) has had four meetings. The first meeting was held in

Copenhagen on the 12 and 13 October 1995 and the main topic was preparation of the

ARisk Assessment@ chapter of this position paper.The second meeting was held at

the Joint Research Centre at Ispra, on the 11 and 12 January 1996. The main topics of

the second meeting were measurements, assessments and quality assurance. The third

meeting was held at Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) in Gothenburg,

on the 25 and 26 March 1996 with the main topic being cost implications. The fourth

and last meeting for finishing the work of the group and the position paper, was held

in Vienna 3 - 4 December 1996.

The available data indicate that at least 21 million people in Europe are exposed at

times to daily NO2 concentrations above the WHO 1987 Air Quality Guideline(AQG)

of 150 mg.m-3 for 24 hours. If these data represent also the air quality in cities where

no measurements have been made, 20% of the European urban population are exposed

to levels exceeding the WHO 24 hour AQG (1987).

6FRSH

This paper has been prepared in accordance with the Directive 96/62/EC on Ambient

Air Quality Assessment and Management and DGXI guidance as outlined in

document AAQ/95/1/2. It addresses meeting NO2 air quality objectives for the

protection of human health, ecosystems and the environment, risk assessment, present

and future air quality and the costs and benefit of setting objectives. It does not

address indoor air pollution, deposition or synergistic effects between NO2 and other

pollutants, or climatic effects of nitrogen-containing pollutants. As per the Annex I of

the Directive it focuses on NO2.

 

In determining limit values and, as appropriate, alert thresholds for NO2 the following

elements must be kept in mind:

· Abatement strategies for reducing effects of NOx may in some areas, lead to

increasing photochemical ozone concentrations.

· Parts of the population may be exposed to significant indoor and/or workplace NO2

pollution, but this is outside the scope of the Directive.

 

 

 

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