Professor Lidia Morawska
Academic and research departmentsGlobal Centre for Clean Air Research, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Lidia Morawska is a Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, the Director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (ILAQH) at QUT, which is a WHO Collaborating Centre on Air Quality and Health, and a co-director in Australia for the Australia – China Centre for Air Quality Science and Management (ACC-AQSM). She conducts fundamental and applied research in the interdisciplinary field of air quality and its impact on human health and the environment, with a specific focus on science of airborne particulate matter.
Professor Morawska is a physicist and received her doctorate at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland for research on radon and its progeny. Prior to joining QUT she spent several years in Canada conducting research first at McMaster University in Hamilton as a Fellow of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and later at the University of Toronto.
Professor Morawska is an author of over 904 journal papers, book chapters and conference papers. She has also been involved at the executive level with a number of relevant national and international professional bodies and has been acting as an advisor to the World Health Organization.
In recognition of her contributions to the field, in May 2020, she was elected as a fellow to the Australian Academy of Science, and in September 2020, she was named in the list of Top 40 Australian Researchers in The Australian Research Magazine. She was also recipient of a ‘2018 Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research’ (Australian Museum of Eureka Prizes); as well as the ‘American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) 2017 David Sinclair Award’, where in his nomination of her for this award, Prof Tunga Salthammer of the Fraunhofer WKI (Germany) stated that she “…has long been considered as one of the top researchers in the field of aerosol science, covering a broad scientific spectrum including, radon, traffic exhaust, indoor related particle emissions, modeling and occupational exposure. For more than 30 years, she has worked in challenging and important areas of aerosol research, with her outstanding results of substantial value for other researchers”.
She was also the recipient of a ‘QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award 2017’ “in recognition of a significant and superior contribution to the work of the university”, and in 2011, the ‘Clean Air Medal, Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand (CASANZ) ‘for “…sustained and dedicated contribution to the understanding of fine particles in the air. She is also a past President of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate.
We examined the trade-offs between in-car aerosol concentrations, ventilation and respiratory infection transmission under three ventilation settings: windows open (WO); windows closed with air-conditioning on ambient air mode (WC-AA); and windows closed with air-conditioning on recirculation (WC-RC). Forty-five runs, covering a total of 324 km distance on a 7.2-km looped route, were carried out three times a day (morning, afternoon, evening) to monitor aerosols (PM2.5; particulate matter WC-AA>WC-RC) due to the ingress of polluted outdoor air on urban routes. A clear trade-off, therefore, exists for the in-car air quality (icAQ) versus ventilation, where WC-RC showed the least aerosol concentrations (i.e. four-times lower compared with WO), but corresponded to elevated CO2 levels (i.e. five-times higher compared with WO) in 20 mins. We considered COVID-19 as an example of respiratory infection transmission. The probability of its transmission from an infected occupant in a five-seater car was estimated during different quanta generation rates (2-60.5 quanta hr-1) using the Wells-Riley model. In WO, the probability with 50%-efficient and without facemasks under normal speaking (9.4 quanta hr-1) varied only by upto 0.5%. It increased by 2-fold in WC-AA (
Severe episodic air pollution blankets entire cities and regions and have a profound impact on humans and their activities. We compiled daily fine particle (PM2.5) data from 100 cities in five continents, investigated the trends of number, frequency, and duration of pollution episodes, and compared these with the baseline trend in air pollution. We showed that the factors contributing to these events are complex; however, long-term measures to abate emissions from all anthropogenic sources at all times is also the most efficient way to reduce the occurrence of severe air pollution events. In the short term, accurate forecasting systems of such events based on the meteorological conditions favouring their occurrence, together with effective emergency mitigation of anthropogenic sources, may lessen their magnitude and/or duration. However, there is no clear way of preventing events caused by natural sources affected by climate change, such as wildfires and desert dust outbreaks.
Street canyons are generally highly polluted urban environments due to high traffic emissions and impeded dispersion. Green infrastructure (GI) is one potential passive control system for air pollution in street canyons, yet optimum GI design is currently unclear. This review consolidates findings from previous research on GI in street canyons and assesses the suitability of different GI forms in terms of local air quality improvement. Studies on the effects of various GI options (trees, hedges, green walls, green screens and green roofs) are critically evaluated, findings are synthesised, and possible recommendations are summarised. In addition, various measurement methods used for quantifying the effectiveness of street greening for air pollution reduction are analysed. Finally, we explore the findings of studies that have compared plant species for pollution mitigation. We conclude that the influences of different GI options on air quality in street canyons depend on street canyon geometry, meteorological conditions and vegetation characteristics. Green walls, green screens and green roofs are potentially viable GI options in existing street canyons, where there is typically a lack of available planting space. Particle deposition to leaves is usually quantified by leaf washing experiments or by microscopy imaging techniques, the latter of which indicates size distribution and is more accurate. The pollutant reduction capacity of a plant species largely depends on its macromorphology in relation to the physical environment. Certain micromorphological leaf traits also positively correlate with deposition, including grooves, ridges, trichomes, stomatal density and epicuticular wax amount. The complexity of street canyon environments and the limited number of previous studies on novel forms of GI in street canyons mean that offering specific recommendations is currently unfeasible. This review highlights a need for further research, particularly on green walls and green screens, to substantiate their efficacy and investigate technical considerations.
Cities are constantly evolving and so are the living conditions within and between them. Rapid urbanization and the ever-growing need for housing have turned large areas of many cities into concrete landscapes that lack greenery. Green infrastructure can support human health, provide socio-economic and environmental benefits, and bring color to an otherwise grey urban landscape. Sometimes, benefits come with downsides in relation to its impact on air quality and human health, requiring suitable data and guidelines to implement effective greening strategies. Air pollution and human health, as well as green infrastructure and human health, are often studied together. Linking green infrastructure with air quality and human health together is a unique aspect of this article. A holistic understanding of these links is key to enabling policymakers and urban planners to make informed decisions. By critically evaluating the link between green infrastructure and human health via air pollution mitigation, we also discuss if our existing understanding of such interventions is enabling their uptake in practice. Both the natural science and epidemiology approach the topic of green infrastructure and human health very differently. The pathways linking health benefits to pollution reduction by urban vegetation remain unclear and that the mode of green infrastructure deployment is critical to avoid unintended consequences. Strategic deployment of green infrastructure may reduce downwind pollution exposure. However, the development of bespoke design guidelines is vital to promote and optimize greening benefits and measuring green infrastructure’s socio-economic and health benefits are key for their uptake. Greening cities to mitigate pollution effects is on the rise and these needs to be matched by scientific evidence and appropriate guidelines. We conclude that urban vegetation can facilitate broad health benefits, but there is little empirical evidence linking these benefits to air pollution reduction by urban vegetation, and appreciable efforts are needed to establish the underlying policies, design and engineering guidelines governing its deployment.
Abstract Ever growing populations in cities are associated with a major increase in road vehicles and air pollution. The overall high levels of urban air pollution have been shown to be of a significant risk to city dwellers. However, the impacts of very high but temporally and spatially restricted pollution, and thus exposure, are still poorly understood. Conventional approaches to air quality monitoring are based on networks of static and sparse measurement stations. However, these are prohibitively expensive to capture tempo-spatial heterogeneity and identify pollution hotspots, which is required for the development of robust real-time strategies for exposure control. Current progress in developing low-cost micro-scale sensing technology is radically changing the conventional approach to allow real-time information in a capillary form. But the question remains whether there is value in the less accurate data they generate. This article illustrates the drivers behind current rises in the use of low-cost sensors for air pollution management in cities, while addressing the major challenges for their effective implementation.
While the crushing of concrete gives rise to large quantities of coarse dust, it is not widely recognized that this process also emits significant quantities of ultrafine particles. These particles impact not just the environments within construction activities but those in entire urban areas. The origin of these ultrafine particles is uncertain, as existing theories do not support their production by mechanical processes. We propose a hypothesis for this observation based on the volatilisation of materials at the concrete fracture interface. The results from this study confirm that mechanical methods can produce ultrafine particles (UFP) from concrete, and that the particles are volatile. The ultrafine mode was only observed during concrete fracture, producing particle size distributions with average count median diameters of 27, 39 and 49 nm for the three tested concrete samples. Further volatility measurements found that the particles were highly volatile, showing between 60 and 95% reduction in the volume fraction remaining by 125 °C. An analysis of the volatile fraction remaining found that different volatile material is responsible for the production of particles between the samples.
The world’s population is shifting to the cities, and consequently, cities worldwide are growing in number and in size. Cities are complex systems, making it extremely difficult to build and run cities in a way that all the elements of the system operate in harmony. Recently a concept of urbanome, the genome of the city was proposed to address this complexity. Here we first explore this concept and analogy, taking advantage of the potential of other ‘omics, modern data collection techniques, Big Data analysis methods and a transdisciplinary approach. Then, we propose a theoretical approach to build the urbanome as a means of quantifying and qualifying population outcomes, being a function of the form of an urban area including the built environment, the physical and social services it provides, and the population density.
Most major cities around the world experience periods of elevated air pollution levels, which exceed international health-based air quality standards (Kumar et al., 2013). Although it is a global problem, some of the highest air pollution levels are found in rapidly expanding cities in India and China. The sources, emissions, transformations and broad effects of meteorology on air pollution are reasonably well accounted in air quality control strategies in many developed cities; however these key factors remain poorly constrained in the growing cities of countries with emerging economies. We focus here on Delhi, one of the largest global population centres, which faces particular air pollution challenges, now and in the future.
Household air pollution is ranked the 9th largest Global Burden of Disease risk (Forouzanfar et al., The Lancet 2015). People, particularly urban dwellers, typically spend over 90% of their daily time indoors, where levels of air pollution often surpass those of outdoor environments. Indoor air quality (IAQ) standards and approaches for assessment and control of indoor air require measurements of pollutant concentrations and thermal comfort using conventional instruments. However, the outcomes of such measurements are usually averages over long integrated time periods, which become available after the exposure has already occurred. Moreover, conventional monitoring is generally incapable of addressing temporal and spatial heterogeneity of indoor air pollution, or providing information on peak exposures that occur when specific indoor sources are in operation. This article provides a review of the new air pollution sensing methods to determine IAQ and discusses how real-time sensing could bring a paradigm shift in controlling the concentration of key air pollutants in billions of urban houses worldwide. However, we also show that besides the opportunities, challenges still remain in terms of maturing technologies, or data mining and their interpretation. Moreover, we discuss further research and essential development needed to close gaps between what is available today and needed tomorrow. In particular, we demonstrate that awareness of IAQ risks and availability of appropriate regulation are lagging behind the technologies.
While concrete recycling is practiced worldwide, there are many unanswered questions in relation to ultrafine particle (UFP; Dp < 100 nm) emissions and exposure around recycling sites. In particular: (i) Does recycling produce UFPs and in what quantities? (ii) How do they disperse around the source? (iii) What impact does recycling have on ambient particle number concentrations (PNCs) and exposure? (iv) How effective are commonly used dust respirators to limit exposure? We measured size-resolved particles in the 5–560 nm range at five distances between 0.15 and 15.15 m that were generated by an experimentally simulated concrete recycling source and found that: (i) the size distributions were multimodal, with up to ∼93% of total PNC in the UFP size range; and (ii) dilution was a key particle transformation mechanism. UFPs showed a much slower decay rate, requiring ∼62% more distance to reach 10% of their initial concentration compared with their larger counterparts in the 100–560 nm size range. Compared with typical urban exposure during car journeys, exposure decay profiles showed up to ∼5 times higher respiratory deposition within 10 m of the source. Dust respirators were found to remove half of total PNC; however the removal factor for UFPs was only ∼57% of that observed in the 100–560 nm size range. These findings highlight a need for developing an understanding of the nature of the particles as well as for better control measures to limit UFP exposure.
In the present study, the daily dose in terms of particle surface area received by citizens living in five cities in Western countries, characterized by different lifestyle, culture, climate and built-up environment, was evaluated and compared. For this purpose, the exposure to sub-micron particle concentration levels of the population living in Barcelona (Spain), Cassino (Italy), Guilford (United Kingdom), Lund (Sweden), and Brisbane (Australia) was measured through a direct exposure assessment approach. In particular, measurements of the exposure at a personal scale were performed by volunteers (15 per each population) that used a personal particle counter for different days in order to obtain exposure data in microenvironments/activities they resided/performed. Non-smoking volunteers performing non-industrial jobs were considered in the study. Particle concentration data allowed obtaining the exposure of the population living in each city. Such data were combined in a Monte Carlo method with the time activity pattern data characteristics of each population and inhalation rate to obtain the most probable daily dose in term of particle surface area as a function of the population gender, age, and nationality. The highest daily dose was estimated for citizens living in Cassino and Guilford (>1000 mm2), whereas the lowest value was recognized for Lund citizens (around 100 mm2). Indoor air quality, and in particular cooking and eating activities, was recognized as the main influencing factor in terms of exposure (and thus dose) of the population: then confirming that lifestyle (e.g. time spent in cooking activities) strongly affect the daily dose of the population. On the contrary, a minor or negligible contribution of the outdoor microenvironments was documented.
Global climate change, demographic change and advancing mechanization of everyday life will go along with new ways of living. Temperature extremes, an ageing society and higher demands on a comfortable life will lead to the implementation of sensor based networks in order to create acceptable and improved living conditions. Originally, the idea of the smart home served primarily the efficient use of energy and the optimization of ventilation technology connected with new ways of constructing buildings (low-energy and passive houses, respectively). Today the term 'smart home' is also linked with the networking of home automation systems, home appliances and communications and entertainment electronics. Living in a smart home often makes also significant demands on the occupants who are required to drastically change some of their living habits. This review summarizes current findings on the effect of measured environmental parameters on indoor air quality, individual thermal comfort and living behavior in smart homes with focus on central Europe. A critical evaluation of available sensor technologies, their application in homes and data security aspects as well as limits and possibilities of current technologies to control particles and gaseous pollutants indoors is included. The review also considers the acceptance of smart technologies by occupants in terms of living habits, perceived indoor air quality and data security.
Cars are a commuting lifeline worldwide, despite contributing significantly to air pollution. This is the first global assessment on air pollution exposure in cars across ten cities: Dhaka (Bangladesh); Chennai (India); Guangzhou (China); Medellín (Colombia); São Paulo (Brazil); Cairo (Egypt); Sulaymaniyah (Iraq); Addis Ababa (Ethiopia); Blantyre (Malawi); and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania). Portable laser particle counters were used to develop a proxy of car-user exposure profiles and analyse the factors affecting particulate matter ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5; fine fraction) and ≤10 μm (PM2.5–10; coarse fraction). Measurements were carried out during morning, off- and evening-peak hours under windows-open and windows-closed (fan-on and recirculation) conditions on predefined routes. For all cities, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were highest during windows-open, followed by fan-on and recirculation. Compared with recirculation, PM2.5 and PM10 were higher by up to 589% (Blantyre) and 1020% (São Paulo), during windows-open and higher by up to 385% (São Paulo) and 390% (São Paulo) during fan-on, respectively. Coarse particles dominated the PM fraction during windows-open while fine particles dominated during fan-on and recirculation, indicating filter effectiveness in removing coarse particles and a need for filters that limit the ingress of fine particles. Spatial variation analysis during windows-open showed that pollution hotspots make up to a third of the total route-length. PM2.5 exposure for windows-open during off-peak hours was 91% and 40% less than morning and evening peak hours, respectively. Across cities, determinants of relatively high personal exposure doses included lower car speeds, temporally longer journeys, and higher in-car concentrations. It was also concluded that car-users in the least affluent cities experienced disproportionately higher in-car PM2.5 exposures. Cities were classified into three groups according to low, intermediate and high levels of PM exposure to car commuters, allowing to draw similarities and highlight best practices.
We critically assessed numerous aspects such as vehicle fleet, type of fuel used in road vehicles, their emissions and concentrations of particulate matter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5) and ≤10 µm (PM10) in three of the most polluted metropolitan areas of Brazil: the Metropolitan areas of São Paulo (MASP), Rio de Janeiro (MARJ) and Belo Horizonte (MABH). About 90% of the Brazilian LDVs run on ethanol or gasohol. The HDVs form a relatively low fraction of the total fleet but account for 90% of the PM from road vehicles. Brazilian LDVs normally emit 0.0011g (PM) km-1 but HDVs can surpass 0.0120g (PM) km-1. The emission control programs (e.g., PROCONVE) have been successful in reducing the vehicular exhaust emissions, but the non-exhaust vehicular sources such, as evaporative losses during refueling of vehicles as well as wear from the tyre, break, and road surface have increased in line with the increase in the vehicle fleet. The national inventories show the highest annual mean PM2.5 (28.1μg m–3) in the MASP that has the largest vehicle fleet in the country. In general, the PM10 concentrations in the studied metropolitan areas appear to comply with the national regulations but were up to ~3-times above the WHO guidelines. The current Brazilian air quality standards are far behind the European standards. There has been a progress in bringing more restrictive regulations for air pollutants including PM10 and PM2.5 but such steps also require suitable solutions to control PM emissions from motor vehicles and mechanical processes.
Over the past decade, a range of sensor technologies became available on the market, enabling a revolutionary shift in air pollution monitoring and assessment. With their cost of up to three orders of magnitude lower than standard/reference instruments, many avenues for applications have opened up. In particular, broader participation in air quality discussion and utilisation of information on air pollution by communities has become possible. However, many questions have been also asked about the actual benefits of these technologies. To address this issue, we conducted a comprehensive literature search including both the scientific and grey literature. We focused upon two questions: (1) Are these technologies fit for the various purposes envisaged? and (2) How far have these technologies and their applications progressed to provide answers and solutions? Regarding the former, we concluded that there is no clear answer to the question, due to a lack of: sensor/monitor manufacturers’ quantitative specifications of performance, consensus regarding recommended end-use and associated minimal performance targets of these technologies, and the ability of the prospective users to formulate the requirements for their applications, or conditions of the intended use. Numerous studies have assessed and reported sensor/monitor performance under a range of specific conditions, and in many cases the performance was concluded to be satisfactory, e.g. (Castell et al. 2017, Han et al. 2017, Sousan et al. 2017). The specific use cases for sensors/monitors included outdoor in a stationary mode, outdoor in a mobile mode, indoor environments and personal monitoring. Under certain conditions of application, project goals, and monitoring environments, some sensors/monitors were fit for a specific purpose. Based on analysis of 17 large projects, which reached applied outcome stage, and typically conducted by consortia of organizations, we observed that a sizable fraction of them (~ 30%) were commercial and/or crowd-funded. This fact by itself signals a paradigm change in air quality monitoring, which previously had been primarily implemented by government organizations. An additional paradigm-shift indicator is the growing use of machine learning or other advanced data processing approaches to improve sensor/monitor agreement with reference monitors. There is still some way to go in enhancing application of the technologies for source apportionment, which is of particular necessity and urgency in developing countries. Also, there has been somewhat less progress in wide-scale monitoring of personal exposures. However, it can be argued that with a significant future expansion of monitoring networks, including indoor environments, there may be less need for wearable or portable sensors/monitors to assess personal exposure. Traditional personal monitoring would still be valuable where spatial variability of pollutants of interest is at a finer resolution than the monitoring network can resolve.
The World Health Organisation declared the infectious spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) an epidemic during its initial outbreak in Wuhan (China) and has since declared it a pandemic and, more recently, an endemic infection that may remain in our communities. A vaccine for COVID-19 is expected to take several months, meaning that the spread may continue in future, in the absence of the most effective measures of social distancing and self-isolation. While these measures have worked well under lockdowns, the potential of airborne transmission of COVID-19 under the eased restrictions has not been considered important enough. We discuss the need to acknowledge the airborne spread of COVID-19 inside built spaces under eased movement restrictions and the potential steps that can be taken to control it.
Human civilization is currently facing two particular challenges: population growth with a strong trend towards urbanization and climate change. The latter is now no longer seriously questioned. The primary concern is to limit anthropogenic climate change and to adapt our societies to its effects. Schools are a key part of the structure of our societies. If future generations are to take control of the manifold global problems, we have to offer our children the best possible infrastructure for their education: not only in terms of the didactic concepts, but also with regard to the climatic conditions in the school environment. Between the ages of 6 and 19, children spend up to 8 h a day in classrooms. The conditions are, however, often inacceptable and regardless of the geographic situation, all the current studies report similar problems: classrooms being too small for the high number of school children, poor ventilation concepts, considerable outdoor air pollution and strong sources of indoor air pollution. There have been discussions about a beneficial and healthy air quality in classrooms for many years now and in recent years extensive studies have been carried out worldwide. The problems have been clearly outlined on a scientific level and there are prudent and feasible concepts to improve the situation. The growing number of publications also highlights the importance of this subject. High carbon dioxide concentrations in classrooms, which indicate poor ventilation conditions, and the increasing particle matter in urban outdoor air have, in particular, been identified as primary causes of poor indoor air quality in schools. Despite this, the conditions in most schools continue to be in need of improvement. There are many reasons for this. In some cases, the local administrative bodies do not have the budgets required to address such concerns, in other cases regulations and laws stand in contradiction to the demands for better indoor air quality, and sometimes the problems are simply ignored. This review summarizes the current results and knowledge gained from the scientific literature on air quality in classrooms. Possible scenarios for the future are discussed and guideline values proposed which can serve to help authorities, government organizations and commissions improve the situation on a global level.
Over the past decade, a range of sensor technologies became available on the market, enabling a revolutionary shift in air pollution monitoring and assessment. With their cost of up to three orders of magnitude lower than standard/reference instruments, many avenues for applications have opened up. In particular, broader participation in air quality discussion and utilisation of information on air pollution by communities has become possible. However, many questions have been also asked about the actual benefits of these technologies. To address this issue, we conducted a comprehensive literature search including both the scientific and grey literature. We focused upon two questions: (1) Are these technologies fit for the various purposes envisaged? and (2) How far have these technologies and their applications progressed to provide answers and solutions? Regarding the former, we concluded that there is no clear answer to the question, due to a lack of: sensor/monitor manufacturers' quantitative specifications of performance, consensus regarding recommended end-use and associated minimal performance targets of these technologies, and the ability of the prospective users to formulate the requirements for their applications, or conditions of the intended use. Numerous studies have assessed and reported sensor/monitor performance under a range of specific conditions, and in many cases the performance was concluded to be satisfactory. The specific use cases for sensors/monitors included outdoor in a stationary mode, outdoor in a mobile mode, indoor environments and personal monitoring. Under certain conditions of application, project goals, and monitoring environments, some sensors/monitors were fit for a specific purpose. Based on analysis of 17 large projects, which reached applied outcome stage, and typically conducted by consortia of organizations, we observed that a sizable fraction of them (~ 30%) were commercial and/or crowd-funded. This fact by itself signals a paradigm change in air quality monitoring, which previously had been primarily implemented by government organizations. An additional paradigm-shift indicator is the growing use of machine learning or other advanced data processing approaches to improve sensor/monitor agreement with reference monitors. There is still some way to go in enhancing application of the technologies for source apportionment, which is of particular necessity and urgency in developing countries. Also, there has been somewhat less progress in wide-scale monitoring of personal exposures. However, it can be argued that with a significant future expansion of monitoring networks, including indoor environments, there may be less need for wearable or portable sensors/monitors to assess personal exposure. Traditional personal monitoring would still be valuable where spatial variability of pollutants of interest is at a finer resolution than the monitoring network can resolve.
Deterioration of air quality in Indian megacities (Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata) is much more significant than that observed in the megacities of developed countries. Densely packed high-rise buildings restrict the self-cleaning capabilities of Indian megacities. Also, the ever growing number of on-road vehicles, resuspension of the dust, and anthropogenic activities exacerbate the levels of ambient air pollution, which is in turn breathed by urban dwellers. Pollution levels exceeding the standards on a regular basis often result in a notable increase in morbidity and mortality. This article discusses the challenges faced by Indian megacities in their quest for sustainable growth, without compromising the air quality and urban way of life.
The health of the city depends on how well all the elements of this system are interconnected and operating in harmony. Here the authors introduced the concept of urbanome which is analogous to the human genome that can be used to characterise the form and functioning of cities.
Atmospheric nanoparticles are a pollutant currently unregulated through ambient air quality standards. The aim of this chapter is to assess the environmental and health impacts of atmospheric nanoparticles in European environments. This chapter begins with the conventional information on the origin of atmospheric nanoparticles, followed by their physical and chemical characteristics. A brief overview of recently published review articles on this topic is then presented to guide those readers interested in exploring any specific aspect of nanoparticles in greater detail. A further section reports a summary of recently published studies on atmospheric nanoparticles in European cities. This covers a total of about 45 sampling locations in 30 different cities within 15 European countries for quantifying levels of roadside and urban background particle number concentrations (PNCs). Average PNCs at the reviewed roadside and urban background sites were found to be 3.82 ± 3.25 × 10 4 and 1.63 ± 0.82 × 10 4 cm −3 , respectively, giving a roadside to background PNC ratio of ~2.4. Engineered nanoparticles are one of the key emerging categories of airborne nanoparticles, especially for the indoor environments. Their ambient concentrations may increase in future due to widespread use of nanotechnology integrated products. Evaluation of their sources and probable impacts on air quality and human health are briefly discussed in the following section. Respiratory deposition doses received by the public exposed to roadside PNCs in numerous European locations are then estimated. These were found to be in the 1.17–7.56 × 10 10 h −1 range over the studied roadside European locations. The following section discusses the potential framework for airborne nanoparticle regulations in Europe and, in addition, the existing control measures to limit nanoparticle emissions at source. The chapter finally concludes with a synthesis of the topic areas covered and highlights important areas for further work.