Air pollution is continuing to damage European citizens’ health and the environment, latest figures show.
A new report, published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), suggested that up to 96% of the EU’s urban population was exposed to fine particulate matter concentrations above UN World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The report listed tiny airborne particles and ozone as posing a “significant threat”.
However, the authors said nations had significantly cut emissions of a number of pollutants, including sulphur dioxide, lead and carbon monoxide.
In a separate study published this week in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine, research identified a link between low birth-weight and exposure to air pollution. The authors concluded that a substantial proportion of the cases of low birth-weight “could be prevented in Europe if urban air pollution was reduced”.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
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