Air quality and health
(Transcription of audio on video)
Europe loses 200 million working days a year to air pollution-related illness.
The air pollutants that affect the respiratory system are ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, and particulate matter.
The breathing in of fine particulate matter significantly increases the numbers of deaths from cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary diseases. Over a third of particulate matter comes from domestic wood stoves, another third from industrial sources, and the remainder from transport and agriculture.
Ground level ozone, one of the components of smog and produced through vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, also has severe implications for respiratory health.
The European Commission Clean Air for Europe programme found that in the year 2000 around 350,000 people were dying prematurely due to outdoor pollution of fine particulate matter alone.
Although levels of particulate matter and ozone have both been reducing in recent decades, estimates indicate that 20 million Europeans suffer from respiratory problems.
Source: The European environment - State and outlook 2005
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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