Air pollution from traffic is still a pressing problem for European cities
Human exposure to increased pollutant concentrations in densely populated urban areas is high. Air quality limit values, which are aimed at protecting public health, are frequently exceeded especially in streets and other urban hotspots. An EEA study of 20 European cities found air pollution above recommended levels in every one, according to a new EEA report. The improvement of air quality is therefore imperative.
The report, 'Air pollution at street level in European cities', released by the EEA today, looks at traffic hotspots in European cities during 2000. The report also makes projections for air quality in 2030.
Traffic-related air pollution is still one of the most pressing problems in urban areas. There is clear evidence of adverse health effects from fine particulate matter - atmospheric particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs. Most traffic-related emissions are in the fine particulates range (< PM2.5) the report says.
The cities surveyed were: Antwerp, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Gdansk, Graz, Helsinki, Katowice, Lisbon, London, Marseilles, Milan, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stuttgart and Thessaloniki.
Report: Air pollution at street level in European cities