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Environment and health

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A clean environment is essential for human health and well-being. However, the interactions between the environment and human health are highly complex and difficult to assess. This makes the use of the precautionary principle particularly useful. The best-known health impacts are related to ambient air pollution, poor water quality and insufficient sanitation. More

Key facts and messages
Emissions of NOX, SOX, NH3 and NMVOC have decreased significantly in most countries between 1990 and 2012. However, air pollution still causes significant harm to health and the environment in Europe. more
Europe has achieved major improvements in public health. However, an ageing population and the impacts of climate change, including new vector-borne diseases, may necessitate additional public health interventions and adjusted environmental policies. more
The quality of Europe's drinking and bathing water have improved but air and noise pollution continue to cause serious health impacts. About 460 000 premature deaths were attributed to fine particulate matter in 2011. Further reductions in pressures... more
The global burden from non-communicable disease now outweighs that from communicable disease. However, the threat of global pandemics continues, partly driven by increasing mobility. Around 25 % of the burden of disease and deaths is attributable... more


European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100