High concentrations of ammonia cause acute damage to vegetation and lead to acidification and over-fertilisation of soil, which is harmful to ecosystems. In addition, ammonia is an important precursor in the formation of secondary aerosols (fluid particles such as sulphuric acid or nitric acid formed from a chemical reaction with gaseous precursors such as sulphur dioxide or nitrogen oxides). Ammonia is formed when storing farmyard manure/slurry and when applying it to fields. Agricultural livestock management is the principal source.
Ammonia levels have scarcely changed over the past ten years and are still significantly above the levels recommended in the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. Ammonia concentrations are particularly high at locations where large numbers of livestock are kept. In order to achieve a tolerable level in the next few years, ammonia pollution will have to be reduced at a considerably faster rate. In view of this, the trend has to be classified as unsatisfactory.
- Related indicators
- Ammonia emissions
Other European countries also measure ammonia immissions and record similar concentrations.
The concentration of gaseous ammonia (NH3) in the air is determined by means of passive diffusion samplers. The gas is absorbed on an acid-treated filter, and converted thereby into ammonium. The quantity of ammonium retained by the filter can be determined in the laboratory by means of ion chromatography, from which the ammonia concentration can be calculated.
|Targeted trend||Initial value||Final value||Variation in %||Observed trend||Assessment|
|Decrease||Average 2004-2006||Average 2017-2019||17.95%||Growth||negative|