PM Science Assessment

In the 1990s, regulatory agencies in all three NARSTO countries began to focus increased attention on the health effects of fine particulates in the atmosphere and on measures to reduce their effects on visibility and health. In January 1999, NARSTO initiated an assessment of the state of the science relevant to managing ambient concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM). The assessment was intended to provide a concise, scientifically credible review of current scientific knowledge about the life cycle of PM in the atmosphere and of the tools that can be used to develop, implement, and monitor programs for controlling PM in the atmosphere. The audiences for the assessment are decision makers, policy analysts, the science community and the public.

The Assessment, published by Cambridge University Press, was completed in 2004, and it is now available for purchase in bookstores or online at

The reference is NARSTO (2004) Particulate Matter Science for Policy Makers: A NARSTO Assessment. P. McMurry, M. Shepherd, and J. Vickery, eds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England. ISBN 0 52 184287 5.

The NARSTO Management Coordinator has a limited number of courtesy copies of the Cambridge University Press edition available for free distribution to NARSTO members, educational institutions, research organizations, etc. Please contact him if you desire a copy. The Assesdsment can also be downloadde as pdf files below (requires Acrobat 5.0 or later).

Persons interested in this assessment may also want to consult in the 1998 report, Atmospheric Observations: Helping Build the Scientific Base for Decisions Related to Airborne Particulate Matter, that discusses measurement needs for determining health effects, exposure, source/receptor relationships, and accountability. This report may be downloaded at