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Fine dust: the problem area remains the greater Stuttgart area

Fine dust
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D as emerges from nationwide air quality data that the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) published on Wednesday (January 20th) in Dessau. The air in 2009 was therefore the dustiest in downtown Stuttgart, in a street canyon at the Neckartor. The measuring station there is now notorious among air experts. Because in a nationwide comparison of the limit values ​​being exceeded, it has repeatedly landed in the top position for years.

Fine dust is dangerous for health because the tiny particles do not get stuck in the nose and throat, but rather unhindered get into the lungs. There they can cause inflammation, asthma and even cancer. The 425 UBA measuring stations measure the concentration of the so-called PM-10 fine dust with particles less than ten micrometers (0.01 millimeters) in diameter. In the past year, the fine dust concentration at the Neckartor in Stuttgart was therefore over the limit of 50 micrograms (50 millionths of a gram) in every cubic meter of air on 111 days. The law allows 35 days a year.

23 measuring stations are above the limit values ​​

How an evaluation of data from the Federal Environment Agency and the federal states by dpa- Regio Data shows that the limit value was too often missed in 2009 at a total of 23 stations. Almost every second of them is in the greater Stuttgart area. 'The air exchange there is relatively low because of the basin location, so that even medium-sized cities and small towns in the Stuttgart metropolitan area have significantly exceeded the limit values,' said Werner Reh, traffic expert at the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation BUND.

At the measuring points in Stuttgart particulate matter is mainly caused by car traffic. In order to reduce the load, the road at the Neckartor is now being sprayed with a solution of calcium and magnesium acetate (CMA) on a trial basis. This solution keeps the asphalt moist and ensures that fine dust particles are bound to the ground. This means that fewer harmful particles are released into the air.

The fine dust adhesive CMA has already been successfully tested in other cities, such as Halle an der Saale. Nevertheless, the Stuttgart attempt is controversial. Because the binding agent is expensive and only becomes effective when the fine dust is already in the environment.

Environmental zones alone are not enough

'It is better to apply them directly the source to ensure that less fine dust is produced, 'says Reh. 'With its strategy against particulate matter, Berlin is thePioneer in Germany. There has long been a large, well-defined environmental zone that affects the entire urban area. 'This reduced particulate matter pollution by a total of three percent, and diesel soot emissions by as much as 24 percent.

However, environmental zones alone are not enough 'The car should also be driven less overall, since fine dust is also produced by tire, brake and clutch wear,' emphasized Reh. Another important starting point is industry. Many of the fine dust particles are generated in the construction industry in particular There are small combustion systems in private households, where especially old wood or coal stoves provide dusty air. According to the Federal Environment Agency, industry caused the largest share of fine dust in 2007 with 38 percent, followed by private households with 25 percent and traffic with 20 Percent.

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