A “significant threat to our health”: Air Pollution levels are “still too high across Europe” and thus, air pollution “remains” as “top environmental health risk” (source).

According to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing “Harm to human health from air pollution in Europe: burden of disease 2023”, “253,000 deaths could have been avoided in the EU if the fine particulate matter concentrations had met World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations” as “exposure to air pollution causes or aggravates certain diseases like lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes according to new estimates of health impacts” (source).

Credits: Moritz Spahn from Unsplash

Health emergency: The new report also stated that 32,300 premature deaths due to particulate matter and 9,500 due to nitrogen dioxide could be prevented annually in Germany if WHO recommendations were adhered to, as the Deutsche Umwelthilfe pointed out.

Published on November 24th, the assessment contains information “estimated for the year 2021, of the harm to human health caused by three key air pollutants: fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone” (source). And even if some numbers fell, “Still, air pollution continues to be the top environmental health risk to Europeans […], causing chronic illness and attributable deaths, especially in cities and urban areas”. But moreover, it “also causes ill health and adds significant costs on health care systems (source).

Figure 1 shows the “Burden of disease for PM2.5 and NO2, 2021″, Figure 2 the “Mortality due to exposure to PM2.5 and NO2, 2021″.

The analysis refers to 41 countries, which are the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU-27) and additional European countries. Read more HERE.