In the past few years a substantial body of scientific knowledge on air pollution has been built up, to a large extent in the framework of large international research activities. As a result, there are now many national emission databases and model systems that, at least partially, suit the environmental management needs of national and international authorities. The level of aggregation of these data and systems tends, however, to be too high for addressing urban air quality issues. At the same time, air quality in several European cities is far from acceptable and often above the limit values. Human activities lead to changes in the composition of the urban atmosphere that are considered to have serious effects on human health and ecosystems, while causing damage to materials and monuments. At present there is much public concern over high concentrations of photochemical pollutants and particulate matter in numerous conurbations all over Europe.
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