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Nanoparticles in air

What is nanoparticle concentration?

Nanoparticles are classified into three categories: natural, “anthropogenic” and manufactured nanoparticles. In ambient atmospheres (office, housing, …), the average concentration of nanoparticles is in the region of 103 to 5x104 part.cm-3 (for particles having a median diameter less than 2x102 nm). But these values vary widely in time and space.


Anthropogenic particles are emitted by combustion (fossil energy, biomass), transport fumes or industrial activities.


Natural nanoparticles are produced vegetation, volcanic eruptions, sea spray or erosion.

Since that man exists, it inspires 5 to 10 million particles of very different types at each inspiration without suffering from any apparent damage. A barbecue produced a very significant expansion of nanoparticles in the neighborhood.

However, the particles emitted unintentionalcan be harmful to human health, such as soots emitted by certain industrial activities and by the engines (petrol, diesel).

The french institue “Santé Publique France” estimates in 2016 that 34000 deaths could be prevented in year in France if all communes of France decrease the level of the airborne particles.