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Chemicals are an essential part of our daily lives and are used to produce consumer goods, to protect or restore our health and to boost food production, to name but a few examples. Some chemicals, however, are hazardous, raising concerns for the environment and human health. Hazardous substances are emitted to fresh and marine waters via a number of pathways and can have detrimental effects on aquatic biota. Humans can be exposed to hazardous substances in water through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water and the consumption of contaminated freshwater fish and seafood. A wide range of legislation now exists in Europe to address the release of hazardous substances to the environment, including water. New challenges exist, however, including the issues of chemical mixtures and emerging pollutants.
This guide is intended to assist policy makers and competent authorities in understanding and fulfilling the action planning requirements of Directive 2002/49/EC
Indicators tracking transport and environment in the European Union
Pharmaceuticals in the environment — Result of an EEA workshop
In May 2008, the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities captured the concerns and desires of urban policy‑makers and citizens in the title of its new European Urban Charter: Manifesto for a new urbanity. Like numerous other international and European charters, conventions and declarations, the manifesto describes with some apprehension the 'unprecedented environmental, democratic, cultural, social and economic challenges' facing urban centres and their inhabitants. Our report on quality of life in Europe's cities and towns reiterates these concerns but also unravels the many apparent paradoxes of urban development and the sometimes perplexing realities of urban Europe today. The report defines a vision for progress towards a more sustainable, well‑designed urban future.
Transport at a crossroads. TERM 2008: indicators tracking transport and environment in the European Union26 Mar 2009
The TERM 2008 report examines the performance of the transport sector vis-a-vis environmental performance. It concludes that there are plenty of options for synergies between different policy initiatives but also a risk of measures counteracting each other.
This report presents particulate matter (PM10) and ground‑level ozone concentration maps covering the whole of Europe. The interpolated maps are based on a combination of measurement and regional modelling results. Using measured concentrations as a primary source of information, the report summarizes the methodologies and the methodological choices taken in order to derive such maps.
Overview of exceedances of EC ozone threshold values for April–September 2008
Feasibility study: Modelling environmental concentrations of chemicals from emission data
Towards a European Chemicals Information System: a survey on reported monitoring activities of chemicals in Europe07 May 2007
Towards a European Chemicals Information System: a survey on reported monitoring activities of chemicals in Europe
Feasibility assessment of using the Substance Flow Analysis Methodology for chemicals information at macro-level15 Feb 2007
Feasibility assessment of using the Substance Flow Analysis Methodology for chemicals information at macro-level
Mapping the impacts of recent natural disasters and technological accidents in Europe
Hazardous substances in the European marine environment - Trends in metals and persistent organic pollutants27 Oct 2003
Hazardous substances in the European marine environment - Trends in metals and persistent organic pollutants
Air pollution by ozone in Europe in summer 2003 - Overview of exceedances of EC ozone threshold values during the summer season April-August 2003 and comparisons with previous years22 Oct 2003
Children's health and environment: A review of evidence. A joint report from the European Environment Agency and the WHO Regional Office for Europe12 Apr 2002
Children's health and environment
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Late lessons from early warnings is about the gathering of information on the hazards of human economic activities and its use in taking action to better protect both the environment and the health of the species and ecosystems that are dependent on it, and then living with the consequences. The report is based on case studies. The authors of the case studies, all experts in their particular field of environmental, occupational and consumer hazards, were asked to identify the dates of early warnings, to analyse how this information was used, or not used, in reducing hazards, and to describe the resulting costs, benefits and lessons for the future.
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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