Air pollution ‘harmed 82% of Europeans’ in 2015

In 2015, 82% of Europeans were exposed to particulate matter levels exceeding World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. That’s according to new research from the European Environment Agency (EEA), which shows […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

In 2015, 82% of Europeans were exposed to particulate matter levels exceeding World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

That’s according to new research from the European Environment Agency (EEA), which shows fine particulate matter is causing the premature deaths of more than 400,000 people across the continent every year.

In the same year, 9% were exposed to nitrogen dioxide levels above these guidelines and 95% were exposed to ground-level ozone concentrations deemed to be dangerous by WHO.

Data from more than 2,500 monitoring stations shows although air pollution from transport, agriculture, power plants, industry and households is slowly decreasing, high concentrations of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone are still continuing to cause harm.

Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the EEA, said: “It is encouraging to see that many European governments and specifically cities are showing leadership in protecting people’s health by improving air quality.

“Clean air belongs to everyone, including people living in cities.”\

Every person living in London is breathing dangerous levels of toxic air that exceed WHO guidelines.