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Article Air legislation in Europe
Air pollution is not the same everywhere. Different pollutants are released into the atmosphere from a wide range of sources. Once in the atmosphere, they can transform into new pollutants and spread around the world. Designing and implementing policies to address this complexity are not easy tasks. Below is an overview of air legislation in the European Union.
Located in Signals — every breath we take Signals 2013 Articles
File Repairing our ozone layer
In 1987, delegates from around the world signed the Montreal Protocol designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. This recent video illustrates the results of the Protocol, which is considered to be one of the most successful international environmental agreements.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
File Clean air for Europe
Air pollution is a growing concern in the area of public health. Scientific research shows that air pollutants are behind a higher number of diseases such as respiratory allergies, asthma and inflammatory conditions. It is the most vulnerable segments of populations, the elderly and children, who are the first to be affected by this phenomenon. In May 2001, the European Commission launched its " Clean Air for Europe " (CAFE) programme. This is a three-year programme intended to investigate all sources of air pollution and provide solutions to reduce them.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
File Air Pollution: harmful particles
The European Commission wants to further reduce air pollution in Europe. Although the situation has improved substantially over the last few decades, there are still significant areas of concern with regard to certain pollutants that are particularly harmful to human health (respiratory diseases) and damaging to the environment (acidification, eutrophication, etc.). The anti-pollution programme that the Commission has launched to that effect is called the “Clean Air for Europe” or CAFE programme.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
File Creation of low level ozone
HOW LOW LEVEL OZONE IS CREATED Low level ozone pollution is often not given much consideration next to the depletion of the ozone layer. However, it can damage health of humans, animals, trees and plants. In high quantities it also contributes to acid rain and the green house effect, as well as being partly responsible for photo chemical smog. Car exhausts release nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. Volatile Organic Compounds are released through chemical plants and products including solvents, paints and hairspray. These two chemicals react with each other and sunlight to create ozone. In humans, ozone can cause lung tissue damage, and create high incidences of asthma and allergenic reactions. Plants exposed to high ozone concentrations lose their chlorophyll and their food manufacturing abilities.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
Article Air pollution: knowledge is essential for tackling it
"The positive news is that over the last decades, the situation has improved substantially in terms of exposure to several air pollutants. But these pollutants, where we achieved the most significant reductions are not the ones causing most harm to human health and the environment" says Valentin Foltescu, who works on air quality assessment and data reporting at the EEA. We asked Valentin what the EEA does on air quality and what the latest data says.
Located in Articles
Highlight More effort needed to reduce summer ozone
Ground level ozone causes health problems, decreases crop yields and damages the environment. Ozone levels exceeding certain targets in Europe were less frequent in summer 2011 than in any year since monitoring started in 1997. However, the long-term objective was exceeded in all EU Member States and it is likely many of them will not meet the target value, applicable as of 2010.
Located in News
Highlight Every breath we take – Signals 2013 focuses on air quality in Europe
Poor air quality can have serious impacts on our health and the environment. How is Europe’s air quality? What are the main sources of air pollutants? How do they affect our health and the environment? What does Europe do to improve air quality? The new edition of the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals takes a closer look.
Located in News
Publication EEA Signals 2009 - Key environmental issues facing Europe
Signals is published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) at the start of each year and provides snapshot stories on issues of interest both to the environmental policy debate and the wider public for the upcoming year. The eight stories addressed are not exhaustive but have been selected on the basis of their relevance to the current environmental policy debate in Europe. They address priority issues of climate change, nature and biodiversity, the use of natural resources and health.
Located in Publications
Highlight Summer ozone at harmful levels in 2013
Ground-level ozone exceeded legal limits in every Member State and at many individual measurement sites during summer 2013, according to the European Environment Agency's annual report on this harmful pollutant. Although the number of exceedances is high, they have decreased over recent decades, the report notes.
Located in News
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