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Environmental burden of cancer

Environmental burden of cancer

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COVID-19: lessons for sustainability?

This briefing belongs to a series called ‘Narratives for Change’, which explores the diversity of ideas needed to move our society towards sustainability and fulfil the ambitions of the European Green Deal. The briefing reflects on the lessons learned from COVID-19, asking how these lessons can be applied to our quest for sustainability, and how we can achieve a model of societal governance that respects planetary health as the pre-condition for human and economic health.

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Impacts of COVID-19 on single-use plastic in Europe’s environment

The COVID19 pandemic is having immense effects on societies across the world. It has caused millions of deaths worldwide and challenged our health systems and economies. The pandemic - and responses to it, involving lockdowns, use of personal protection equipment, and stay-at-home measures - has far reaching health and economic consequences. This briefing deals with the less visible impacts on our environment and climate originating from changed use of single use-plastics because of the pandemic.

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Designing safe and sustainable products requires a new approach for chemicals

The EU chemicals strategy for sustainability aims to ensure that chemicals are ‘produced and used in a way that maximises their contribution to society … while avoiding harm to the planet and to current and future generations’ (EC, 2020). Building sustainability dimensions into products’ design phase can support the delivery of these objectives. Key features of sustainable products include chemical safety, recyclability and a low environmental impact. This briefing describes approaches that are safe and sustainable by design and identifies enabling conditions, which support their uptake, and the related challenges and opportunities.

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Designing safe and sustainable products requires a new approach for chemicals

The EU chemicals strategy for sustainability aims to ensure that chemicals are ‘produced and used in a way that maximises their contribution to society … while avoiding harm to the planet and to current and future generations’ (EC, 2020). Building sustainability dimensions into products’ design phase can support the delivery of these objectives. Key features of sustainable products include chemical safety, recyclability and a low environmental impact. This briefing describes approaches that are safe and sustainable by design and identifies enabling conditions, which support their uptake, and the related challenges and opportunities.

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Health risks caused by environmental noise in Europe

This briefing assesses the health risks due to exposure to environmental noise in Europe using three indicators to measure, monitor and communicate the impacts of noise pollution on health: (1) exposure to noise above recommended levels established by the World Health Organization; (2) number of people suffering health effects from exposure to noise; (3) burden of disease from noise. The indicators are derived from data submitted to the EEA under the EU Environmental Noise Directive and will be used to inform the development of future targets to reduce the health impacts of noise.

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Delivery drones and the environment

A technology with uncertain potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from e-commerce and the logistics industry and concerns over increased noise pollution and threats to wildlife.

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COVID-19 and Europe's environment: impacts of a global pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s lives worldwide. This briefing focuses on what we know about the short-term effects of COVID-19 on our environment, approximately six months after large parts of the world went into some degree of lockdown. It considers what can be learnt from these effects and how they might help shape decision-making in the future.

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EEA Signals 2020  — Towards zero pollution in Europe

What is pollution? Where does it come from? How does pollution affect the environment and how does it affect people’s health? How can Europe move towards zero pollution, in line with the ambition of the European Green Deal? EEA Signals 2020 looks at pollution through different lenses related to the Agency’s work and EU legislation.

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Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe

A significant proportion of the burden of disease in Europe continues to be attributed to environmental pollution resulting from human activity. This report highlights how the quality of Europe’s environment plays a key role in determining our health and well-being.

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Environmental noise in Europe — 2020

The report presents an updated assessment of the population exposed to high levels of environmental noise and the associated health impacts in Europe, based on the new World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. The report also documents actions being taken to manage and reduce noise exposure and reviews the progress made towards meeting policy objectives. The evaluation of the status of exposure to environmental noise in Europe is based on the latest data collected under the Environmental Noise Directive (END). The report also describes other relevant issues, such as inequalities in exposure to environmental noise as well as impacts on wildlife.

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Emerging chemical risks in Europe — ‘PFAS’

It is currently not possible to perform in-depth environmental and health risk assessments of all chemical substances in use in Europe because of the great variety of chemicals and their diverse uses. New and legacy chemicals continue to be released into Europe’s environment, adding to the total chemical burden on Europe’s citizens and ecosystems. Early identification of emerging risks is one of the activities of the European Environment Agency (EEA). This briefing summarises the known and potential risks to human health and the environment in Europe posed by a group of very persistent chemicals, the per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).

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Air quality in Europe 2019

This report presents an updated overview and analysis of air quality in Europe from 2000 to 2017. It reviews the progress made towards meeting the air quality standards established in the two EU Ambient Air Quality Directives and towards the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines (AQGs). It also presents the latest findings and estimates of population and ecosystem exposure to the air pollutants with the greatest impacts.

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Urban waste water treatment for 21st century challenges

It is easy to take water for granted. Clean water comes out of a tap, we use the water and then ‘dirty’ water disappears down the drain. In this way, the water that leaves our homes, schools and workplaces is contaminated. For most European citizens, such waste water is collected, transported and then treated at an urban waste water treatment plant, to remove components harmful to the environment and human health, before the water is returned to nature (EEA, 2018). The importance of access to clean water and sanitation is embedded in Goal 6 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN, n.d). Supplying clean water and collecting waste water has required huge investment across Europe in recent decades. In this briefing, we show that challenges to securing sustainable water in future, such as climate change, present new opportunities for resource efficiency and improved environmental protection.

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European Union emissions inventory report 2017

This document is the annual European Union (EU) emission inventory report under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long‑range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention) (UNECE, 1979).

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Europe's urban air quality — re-assessing implementation challenges in cities

This report analyses the implementation of EU air quality legislation at the urban level and identifies some of the reasons behind persistent air quality problems in Europe's cities. It is produced in cooperation with 10 cities involved in a 2013 Air Implementation Pilot project: Antwerp (Belgium), Berlin (Germany), Dublin (Ireland), Madrid (Spain), Malmö (Sweden), Milan (Italy), Paris (France), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Prague (Czechia) and Vienna (Austria).

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Unequal exposure and unequal impacts

Unequal exposure and unequal impacts: social vulnerability to air pollution, noise and extreme temperatures in Europe

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Chemicals in European waters

This report’s aim is to improve understanding of which chemicals continue to pose significant risks to the environment, especially when they are present in water. It also looks at how better knowledge and understanding can help to improve controls to minimise harm. The report gives an overview of information about pollutants used in the assessment of water quality under the Water Framework Directive, and describes some of the newer techniques available for the assessment of water quality.

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Assessing the risks to health from air pollution

The European Environment Agency (EEA) produces annual air pollution health risk assessments at the European level. These give an objective and comparable estimate of the impacts of air pollution on the population’s health. This briefing provides an overview of the methodology followed in the assessments.

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Mercury in Europe's environment

This EEA report aims to increase understanding and knowledge of global mercury pollution among both policymakers and the general public. The report provides background information and context, before setting out the current status of global and European mercury pollution and the challenges that remain in addressing this global issue.

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