Atmospheric pollution represents a risk factor for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and for cancer. The two major contributions come from traffic emissions and biomass burning. On-road and off-road diesel engines account for ~70% of BC emissions in Europe, North America, and Latin America whereas the burning of residential solid fuels, especially coal and biomass, contribute ~60 – 80% of the Asian and African BC emissions.
Wood combustion in residential areas is commonly used for heating (and cooking) during cold winter seasons. Abatement measures include better stowes and alternative heating methods. Traffic pollution can be reduced by encouragement of public transportation usage, public tranport modernization, ring road utilization, traffic flow improvement, speed limit reduction and implementation of low emission zones. Since all restrictions are an unpopular and costly it is important to know which sources need regulation and how efficient this regulation is.