Better air quality in Europe sees fewer deaths over last decade. But PM, NOx, Ozone still a problem. EEA head: “Europe will have to go beyond current legislation”

February 6, 2021

improved air quality across Europe has seen a reduction in premature deaths related to air pollution in the last decade according to a November, 2020 Health Europa report. However, a new report – Air Quality in Europe 2020 – released recently by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that almost all Europeans still suffer from air pollution, leading to about 400,000 premature deaths across the continent.

Click image to view how NOx air pollution moves across Europe. Credit: BBC.

According to EEA air pollution is a local, pan-European and hemispheric issue. Air pollutants released in one country may be transported in the atmosphere, contributing to or resulting in poor air quality elsewhere. Particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, are now generally recognised as the three pollutants that most significantly affect human health, says EEA.

Long-term and peak exposures to these pollutants range in severity of   impact, from impairing the respiratory system to premature death. Around 90 % of city dwellers in Europe are exposed to pollutants at concentrations.

higher than the air quality levels deemed harmful to health. For example, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in air has been estimated to reduce life expectancy in the EU by more than eight months.

“Air pollution is causing damage to human health and ecosystems. Large parts of the population do not live in a healthy environment, according to current pollutant standards. To get on to a sustainable path, Europe will have to be ambitious and go beyond current legislation,” says EEA Executive Director, Hans Bruyninckx.

What this means to you
Improved air quality in Europe has seen a reduction in premature deaths in the last decade. But PM, NOX, and ozone remain a problem. “To get on to a sustainable path, Europe will have to be ambitious and go beyond current legislation,” says EEA Executive Director, Hans Bruyninckx.”

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine CO, NOx, PM and VOC emission solutions in Europe.