Canada’s Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory Report 2020: chapter 2.1

2.1 Particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5)

In 2018, approximately 1.6 million tonnes (Mt) of PM2.5 were emitted in Canada (Table 2–3). Dust sources accounted for 59% (0.95 Mt) of total PM2.5 emissions, with the most important dust sources being construction operations at 31% (507 kt) and unpaved roads at 26% (422 kt) of total PM2.5 emissions. Agriculture was the second largest contributor and accounted for 24% (383 kt) of PM2.5 emissions, most of which are attributed to crop production (23% or 380 kt). In these sectors, PM is largely emitted by non-combustion sources.

Commercial/residential/institutional sources accounted for 11% (182 kt) of total PM2.5 emissions in 2018, with the most important contributor being home firewood burning at 10% (161 kt) of total PM2.5 emissions. All other commercial/residential/institutional sources accounted for less than 1% of total PM2.5 emissions.

Overall, emissions of PM2.5 decreased from 1990 to 2009, and have gradually increased since then (Figure 2–1). The downward trend was influenced predominantly by decreasing emissions from crop production and home firewood burning. Emissions from crop production decreased for the period of 1990 to 2011 due to a reduction in summerfallow and the adoption of conservation tillage practices, but have since been offset by an increase in wind erosion emissions that is resulting from increased production of pulse crops. Decreased emissions from home firewood burning are due to the reduction in the use of conventional fireplaces and wood stoves; replaced with fireplace inserts, furnaces and stoves with improved emission controls and combustion efficiencies; as well as a reduction in the use of wood as a heating fuel. Emissions from construction operations decreased until 2002; increased until 2012; and have since stabilized. Emissions of PM2.5 from unpaved roads followed a more gradual, consistent increasing trend from 1990 through to 2018. The trend in PM2.5 emissions from roads is driven predominantly by the use of unpaved roads in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

The most significant changes in PM2.5 emissions from 1990 to 2018 include:

Figure 2–1: Major contributors to national PM2.5 trends

Figure 2-1 (See long description below)
Long description for Figure 2–1

Figure 2–1 is a stacked area graph displaying the five major contributors to national PM2.5 trends. The five contributors are the following: Construction Operations, Paved and Unpaved Roads, Crop Production, Home Firewood Burning, and Other. The following table displays the contributions (kt) for the years 1990 to 2018.

Figure 2-1: Major contributors to national PM2.5 trends (kt)
Sector 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sector 1 - Construction Operations 239 230 219 197 241 190 232 287 148 167 148 151 128 142 153 170 223 295 376 274 365 413 507 506 506 507 506 507 507
Sector 2 - Crop Production 676 669 654 639 625 610 596 582 568 555 541 528 507 487 467 447 427 414 400 387 374 361 364 367 369 372 375 378 380
Sector 3 - Paved and Unpaved Roads 254 244 255 258 263 268 280 297 306 312 313 342 342 346 331 332 334 349 348 357 361 372 388 402 395 415 418 427 445
Sector 4 - Home Firewood Burning 262 258 247 258 263 251 248 235 247 233 223 204 219 186 179 167 159 159 160 154 164 165 166 165 164 162 163 162 161
Sector 5 - Other 389 369 346 356 354 356 337 318 306 303 297 266 239 249 226 222 196 189 185 171 169 160 156 147 153 139 132 134 132

Table 2-3: National summary of annual PM2.5 emissions

Ore and Mineral Industries (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 55 000 52 000 42 000 33 000 33 000 31 000 32 000 35 000 34 000
Aluminium Industry 5 400 4 500 5 100 4 100 3 700 3 300 3 400 3 400 3 100
Asphalt Paving Industry 1 900 1 700 1 500 1 400 1 600 1 300 1 300 1 300 1 300
Cement and Concrete Industry 11 000 9 600 12 000 7 800 7 600 7 600 7 100 7 300 7 700
Foundries 6 100 5 100 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200
Iron and Steel Industry 11 000 9 400 5 100 2 100 2 500 2 400 2 200 2 500 2 600
Iron Ore Industry 1 600 4 500 1 700 1 100 950 950 1 000 940 880
Mineral Products Industry 1 200 1 100 940 350 370 320 290 230 290
Mining and Rock Quarrying 8 500 9 700 6 300 9 000 8 700 8 100 10 000 13 000 12 000
Non-Ferrous Mining and Smelting Industry 8 800 6 000 4 100 1 800 1 900 2 100 1 700 1 300 1 000
Oil and Gas Industry (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 12 000 13 000 12 000 11 000 13 000 12 000 11 000 13 000 12 000
Downstream Oil and Gas Industry 5 100 4 900 4 600 1 700 1 600 1 400 1 500 1 500 1 600
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry 6 800 8 500 7 800 9 200 11 000 11 000 9 700 11 000 11 000
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 48 000 23 000 8 900 3 200 3 600 3 500 3 400 3 300 3 200
Coal 46 000 20 000 5 000 2 200 2 500 2 400 2 200 2 200 2 200
Diesel 270 410 400 180 200 210 220 180 200
Natural Gas 1 200 1 900 1 700 500 420 420 390 340 340
Waste Materials 0.41 1.6 1.0 1.9 2.1 2.3 16 16 15
Other (Electric Power Generation) 1 300 730 1 800 320 450 460 550 530 450
Manufacturing (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 120 000 78 000 45 000 20 000 19 000 18 000 17 000 17 000 16 000
Abrasives Manufacturing 390 210 200 8.1 8.4 15 14 15 17
Bakeries -* - 0.36 1.2 1.1 7.2 7.5 6.7 10
Biofuel Production - - - 12 5.3 4.6 4.2 3.4 3.2
Chemicals Industry 4 800 4 500 4 100 1 600 1 400 1 300 1 300 1 200 1 500
Electronics 120 37 4.5 0.41 1.00 0.91 0.89 0.87 0.82
Food Preparation 1 400 2 100 1 700 810 770 740 720 720 660
Glass Manufacturing 920 1 300 1 100 140 150 150 160 130 140
Grain Industry 2 200 2 900 2 000 2 400 2 800 2 800 2 900 3 000 3 000
Metal Fabrication 800 1 300 890 780 420 410 410 440 400
Plastics Manufacturing 160 170 120 78 69 53 61 56 52
Pulp and Paper Industry 61 000 25 000 18 000 8 900 8 400 7 600 6 900 7 200 6 800
Textiles 13 22 18 2.8 2.5 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.2
Vehicle Manufacturing (Engines, Parts, Assembly, Painting) 1 700 1 600 570 190 170 180 170 170 200
Wood Products 37 000 31 000 14 000 4 800 4 400 4 700 3 800 3 600 3 400
Other (Manufacturing) 6 200 8 800 2 900 220 220 190 210 200 200
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 94 000 95 000 79 000 49 000 45 000 37 000 33 000 35 000 37 000
Air Transportation 260 330 290 290 280 270 270 280 290
Heavy-duty Diesel Vehicles 15 000 15 000 17 000 11 000 9 600 8 600 8 400 8 800 9 300
Heavy-duty Gasoline Vehicles 3 500 2 300 2 100 1 200 960 920 980 990 1 000
Heavy-duty LPG/NG Vehicles 600 680 160 2.7 1.4 1.2 1.8 3.3 3.3
Light-duty Diesel Trucks 13 14 15 11 12 15 16 19 21
Light-duty Diesel Vehicles 49 26 16 13 13 14 13 13 12
Light-duty Gasoline Trucks 2 000 2 400 1 600 1 300 1 200 1 200 1 300 1 300 1 400
Light-duty Gasoline Vehicles 5 000 3 600 2 200 1 300 1 200 1 100 1 100 1 100 1 100
Light-duty LPG/NG Trucks 180 83 36 0.61 0.46 0.41 0.44 0.52 0.53
Light-duty LPG/NG Vehicles 23 12 5.3 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.03
Marine Transportation 9 700 13 000 15 000 11 000 10 000 4 000 4 000 4 000 4 100
Motorcycles 22 21 23 20 20 20 21 22 22
Off-Road Diesel Vehicles and Equipment  41 000 42 000 29 000 16 000 14 000 13 000 10 000 11 000 12 000
Off-Road Gasoline/LPG/NG Vehicles and Equipment 13 000 10 000 6 800 4 100 4 200 4 200 3 700 3 800 4 000
Rail Transportation 3 600 3 400 3 300 2 500 2 300 2 000 1 800 2 000 2 000
Tire Wear and Brake Lining 730 1 100 1 200 1 500 1 500 1 500 1 500 1 600 1 600
Agriculture (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 680 000 540 000 450 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 380 000 380 000 380 000
Animal Production 1 700 2 100 2 300 2 000 2 000 2 000 2 100 2 100 2 100
Crop Production 680 000 540 000 450 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 380 000 380 000
Fuel Use 120 140 130 420 440 390 390 380 360
Commercial / Residential / Institutional (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 280 000 240 000 190 000 190 000 190 000 180 000 180 000 180 000 180 000
Cigarette Smoking1 810 690 530 410 410 360 370 370 380
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 2 000 2 600 2 600 2 300 2 400 2 300 2 300 2 500 2 600
Commercial Cooking  14 000 15 000 17 000 17 000 16 000 15 000 15 000 15 000 15 000
Construction Fuel Combustion  180 110 150 130 130 130 140 140 150
Home Firewood Burning  260 000 220 000 170 000 160 000 160 000 160 000 160 000 160 000 160 000
Human1 -* - - - - - - - -
Marine Cargo Handling  180 140 190 79 79 67 110 110 98
Residential Fuel Combustion 2 400 2 600 2 500 2 400 2 500 2 400 2 100 2 200 2 500
Service Stations - - - - - - - - -
Other (Miscellaneous) - - - - - - - - -
Incineration and Waste (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 5 100 4 400 4 100 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 800 2 800
Crematoriums 4.3 6.1 4.6 6.1 6.6 6.8 7.1 7.3 7.5
Waste Incineration 4 500 3 800 3 400 2 200 2 200 2 200 2 200 2 300 2 300
Waste Treatment and Disposal 600 630 700 440 450 460 450 460 470
Paints and Solvents (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total -* - 9.0 15 11 15 16 23 23
Dry Cleaning - - 0.62 9.0 4.9 6.1 4.5 14 13
General Solvent Use - - - - - - - - -
Printing - - 7.6 5.5 5.5 8.3 10 7.4 7.3
Surface Coatings - - 0.94 0.78 0.63 1.00 1.5 1.5 2.4
Dust (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 490 000 460 000 500 000 910 000 900 000 920 000 930 000 930 000 950 000
Coal Transportation 320 300 240 370 300 230 250 220 220
Construction Operations 240 000 150 000 170 000 510 000 510 000 510 000 510 000 510 000 510 000
Mine Tailings 270 290 320 500 530 620 580 660 690
Paved Roads 24 000 19 000 19 000 22 000 21 000 22 000 22 000 22 000 23 000
Unpaved Roads 230 000 290 000 310 000 380 000 370 000 390 000 400 000 410 000 420 000
Fires (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 36 000 6 900 4 500 3 200 12 000 10 000 9 100 4 800 2 400
Prescribed Burning 36 000 6 600 4 200 2 900 12 000 10 000 8 900 4 600 2 200
Structural Fires 350 280 250 260 200 190 190 190 190
Totals (tonnes)
Source 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Ore and Mineral Industry 55 000 52 000 42 000 33 000 33 000 31 000 32 000 35 000 34 000
Oil and Gas Industry 12 000 13 000 12 000 11 000 13 000 12 000 11 000 13 000 12 000
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) 48 000 23 000 8 900 3 200 3 600 3 500 3 400 3 300 3 200
Manufacturing 120 000 78 000 45 000 20 000 19 000 18 000 17 000 17 000 16 000
Transportation and Mobile Equipment 94 000 95 000 79 000 49 000 45 000 37 000 33 000 35 000 37 000
Agriculture 680 000 540 000 450 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 380 000 380 000 380 000
Commercial / Residential / Institutional 280 000 240 000 190 000 190 000 190 000 180 000 180 000 180 000 180 000
Incineration and Waste 5 100 4 400 4 100 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 800 2 800
Paints and Solvents -* - 9.0 15 11 15 16 23 23
Dust 490 000 460 000 500 000 910 000 900 000 920 000 930 000 930 000 950 000
Fires 36 000 6 900 4 500 3 200 12 000 10 000 9 100 4 800 2 400
Grand Total 1 800 000 1 500 000 1 300 000 1 600 000 1 600 000 1 600 000 1 600 000 1 600 000 1 600 000

Notes:

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

1.Cigarette Smoking as well as Infant Diapered Waste (which is included within the Human sector) are being considered for removal from future inventories. If you have any questions, please contact us at ec.iepa-apei.ec@canada.ca or 1-877-877-8375.

* - = no emission

0.00 Indicates emissions truncated due to rounding

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