Particulate Matter Emissions

In 2011, emissions of total particulate matter (TPM) were 647 kilotonnes (kt), a decrease of 13 kt (2%) over 2010 emission levels. Emissions of respirable particulate matter (PM10) decreased in 2011 by 13 kt (3%) from 2010 emission levels, to 337 kt. Emissions of PM2.5 decreased in 2011 by 9 kt (3%) from 2010 emission levels, to 246 kt.

When compared to 1990 emission levels, 2011 emissions were lower by 508 kt (44%) for TPM, by 226 kt (40%) for PM10, and by 144 kt (37%) for PM2.5. The decline in TPM, PM10 and PM2.5 emissions since 1990 is the result of a reduction in emissions from power plants, transportation and industries for which regulations and agreements were put in place.

Particulate matter emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2011

Particulate matter emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2011

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Note: PM10 refers to particulate matter with a diameter of 10 micrometres (μm) or less, while PM2.5 refers to particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less. Emissions from natural sources (e.g., forest fires) and open sources (e.g., road dust) are not included in the indicator.
Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Air Pollutant Emissions Summaries and Trends.

Particulate matter emissions by source

In 2011, particulate matter was mainly emitted from industrial sources and home firewood burning. For TPM and PM10 emissions, industries (excluding oil and gas industry) were the main source representing 65% (422 kt) and 39% (133 kt) of national emissions, respectively (national emissions = 648 kt for TPM and 337 kt for PM10). Home firewood burning is the largest source of PM2.5, representing 42% (103 kt) of the total national emissions (246 kt).

Particulate matter emissions by source, Canada, 2011

Particulate matter emissions by source, Canada, 2011

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: Particulate matter emissions from natural sources (e.g., forest fires) and open sources (e.g., road dust) are not included in the indicator.
Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Air Pollutant Emissions Summaries and Trends.

Particulate matter emissions by province and territory

In 2001, Quebec emitted the most particulate matter, with 23% (150 kt) of TPM emissions (national emissions = 648 kt), 25% (86 kt) of PM10 emissions (national emissions = 337 kt) and 29% (72 kt) of PM2.5 emissions (national emissions = 246 kt). Ontario ranked second, with 22% (144 kt) of TPM emissions, 23% (78 kt) of PM10 emissions, and 25% (60 kt) of PM2.5 emissions. British Columbia ranked third, with 18% (113 kt) of TPM emissions, 17% (56 kt) of PM10 emissions and 13% (32 kt) of PM2.5 emissions.

Home firewood burning (e.g., woodstoves, fireplaces) was the largest source of emissions in Quebec for the three size fractions of particulate matter. Home firewood burning was also the most important source of emissions in Ontario for PM10 and PM2.5 and in British Columbia for PM2.5. The mining and rock quarrying industry was the largest source of TPM emissions in Ontario and British Columbia. It was also the most important source of PM10 emissions in British Columbia.

Particulate matter emissions by province and territory, Canada, 2011

Particulate matter emissions by province and territory, Canada, 2011

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: This chart does not include all the other natural sources (e.g., forest fires) or open sources (e.g., road dust).
Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Air Pollutant Emissions Summaries and Trends.

Particulate matter emissions from industrial facilities

Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) provides detailed information on air pollutant emissions from industrial facilities. The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program provides access to this information through an online interactive map.

With the CESI interactive map, you can drill down to local areas and obtain details on TPM, PM10 and PM2.5 emissions specific to reporting industrial facilities.

Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Facility Reported Data.

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