(17 October 2017) – Latest estimates by the European Environment Agency (EEA) show that fine particulate matter continues to cause the premature death of more than 400 000 Europeans annually.
The EEA’s ‘Air quality in Europe — 2017 report’ presents an updated analysis of air quality and its impacts, based on official data from more than 2 500 monitoring stations across Europe in 2015.
The data show that air quality in Europe is slowly improving, thanks to past and current policies and technological developments. However, high concentrations of air pollution still have significant impacts on Europeans’ health, with particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ground-level ozone (O3) causing the biggest harm.
According to the report, PM2.5 concentrations were responsible for an estimated 428 000 premature deaths in 41 European countries in 2014, of which around 399 000 were in the EU-28.
Poor air quality also has considerable economic impacts, increasing medical costs, reducing workers’ productivity, and damaging soil, crops, forests, lakes and rivers.