‘Europe air pollution causes 467,000 early deaths a year’
Almost nine out of 10 European city dwellers breathe air that is harmful to their health, though the continent’s air quality is slowly improving, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Wednesday.
Air pollution remains the single largest environmental cause of premature death in urban Europe, and was linked to around 467,000 early deaths in 41 European countries in 2013, according to an analysis of data from more than 400 cities. “Emission reductions have led to improvements in air quality in Europe, but not enough to avoid unacceptable damage to human health and the environment,” EEA executive director Hans Bruyninckx said.
Within the EU, the number of premature deaths was estimated at over 430,000. Data from monitoring stations across Europe showed that in 2014 around 85% of the urban population was exposed to fine particulate matter at levels deemed harmful by the WHO.