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EU meets most international air pollutant emissions limits, further cuts possible

Many air pollutant emissions are below internationally agreed limits, except nitrogen oxides, according to a European Environment Agency report released today. Emissions of three air pollutants, including fine particulate matter, are only slightly above targets to be met in 2020.

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Putting clean air laws in to practice – report shows potential for improvement

Air-related legislation in the EU aims to protect human health and the environment from pollution. But this legislation is not always fully implemented. Bridging this gap is the subject of a new publication from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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World Environment Day: Why is the environment important?

On World Environment Day (5 June), the European Environment Agency's new Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx discusses the importance of the environment.

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Europe’s environment now healthier – but new risks emerging

Europeans live longer and healthier lives than in the past, partly due to successful environmental policies that have reduced the exposure to harmful environmental contaminants in air, water and food, according to a new report. However, these contaminants are still a problem, and several new health risks are emerging, for example, from new chemicals, new products and changing lifestyle patterns.

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Is there a protected area near you? Find out on UN Biodiversity Day

Protected areas cover more than one fifth of the land in the 39 countries working with the European Environment Agency (EEA). On International Biodiversity Day, the EEA encourages Europeans to find out more about their closest nature reserve or national park using a new interactive map.

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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.

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Air pollution: breaches of legal limits continued through 2010 and 2011

Air pollutant emissions were above legal limits in eight Member States in 2011, preliminary data shows. In 2010, 12 Member States exceeded these limits, according to final official data reported under the European Union’s National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive.

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Invasive alien species: a growing problem for environment and health

Invasive alien species pose greater risks than previously thought for biodiversity, human health and economies, according to two new reports from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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The cost of ignoring the warning signs - EEA publishes ‘Late Lessons from Early Warnings, volume II’

New technologies have sometimes had very harmful effects, but in many cases the early warning signs have been suppressed or ignored. The second volume of Late Lessons from Early Warnings investigates specific cases where danger signals have gone unheeded, in some cases leading to deaths, illness and environmental destruction.

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Europe's air story told in pictures

Air is a tricky subject to photograph, but this challenge has proved to be a source of inspiration for the winners of photo storycompetition ‘ImaginAIR’, organised by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Europe still playing catch-up on air pollution, despite reduction successes

The European Union appears to have met several objectives to reduce the impacts of air pollution, according to the original scientific understanding used to set the objectives. But when using the improved scientific understanding of air pollution now available, it becomes clear that emissions need to be even further reduced to protect health and the environment.

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Many Europeans still exposed to harmful air pollutants

Almost a third of Europe's city dwellers are exposed to excessive concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM), one of the most important pollutants in terms of harm to human health as it penetrates sensitive parts of the respiratory system. The EU has made progress over the past decades to reduce the air pollutants which cause acidification, but a new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that many parts of Europe have persistent problems with outdoor concentrations of PM and ground level ozone.

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Capture the invisible for the EEA photo story competition

The air we breathe may not be the most photogenic subject, but depicting an odourless, colourless gas is the challenge set out by ImaginAIR, a new competition created by the European Environment Agency (EEA) which invites participants to tell a story about Europe's air in three pictures.

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Avoiding harmful ozone pollution this summer

High summer temperatures combined with air pollution can cause ground-level ozone to form, which has serious effects on health, especially for older people or children, or those with asthma and other breathing problems. The European Environment Agency (EEA) presents some useful information on protecting your health from ground-level ozone this summer.

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Eleven Member States exceed air emissions limits under LRTAP Convention

Emissions of most air pollutants have fallen over the last two decades in Europe. But many Member States have exceeded internationally-agreed pollutant limits set to protect human health and the environment, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Road transport, households, power plants, agricultural activities and certain industry sectors continue to emit significant amounts of air pollution.

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Sahara dust, sea spray and fires contribute to bad air quality

Human activities are the main cause of poor air quality, but natural sources of air pollution also play a role. A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) considers how particulate matter from these natural sources affects the air we breathe.

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Nitrogen oxide emissions still a major problem in Europe

Air pollution emitted from sources such as traffic, industry and households is still above internationally agreed limits in many European countries, according to data published today. The accompanying report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) confirms an initial assessment published earlier this year, showing 12 EU Member States exceeded limits under the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive in 2010.

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Clean water at majority of EU holiday destinations

Good news if you're planning a beach holiday in Europe this summer: 92.1 % of bathing waters in the European Union now meet the minimum water quality standards set by the Bathing Water Directive. This includes the Serpentine Lake in London, which will host several Olympics events, including the Open Water Marathon Swim and the swimming section of the triathlon.

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Increase in cancers and fertility problems may be caused by household chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Chemicals which disrupt the hormone system – also known as 'endocrine disrupting chemicals' (EDCs) – may be a contributing factor behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes and obesity, falling fertility, and an increased number of neurological development problems in both humans and animals, according to a review of recent scientific literature commissioned by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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What money can't buy - UN discusses happiness as a measure of progress

The world needs to move away from measuring success in purely economic terms, and should instead consider other criteria, including distribution of resources, sustainability, health, human rights and education. These were the discussions in a landmark meeting of the United Nations (UN), calling for new measurements of wellbeing beyond GDP in the run up to the Rio sustainability summit in June.

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