Targeted action is needed to better protect Europe’s most vulnerable populations, including the poor, the elderly and children, from environmental hazards like air and noise pollution and extreme temperatures. Aleksandra Kazmierczak, a European Environment Agency (EEA) climate change adaptation expert, explains the main findings of a new EEA report that assesses the links between social and demographic inequalities and exposure to air pollution, noise and extreme temperatures.

Many people still associate mercury with thermometers and most also know that it is toxic. Because of its toxicity, mercury is on its way out from products in Europe but a lot of it is still circulating in air, water, soil and ecosystems. Is mercury still a problem and what is being done about it? We interviewed Ian Marnane, EEA expert on sustainable resource use and industry.

More investment is needed to make urban waste water treatment plants fit to meet the difficult challenges posed by the impacts of climate change, as well as the presence of antibiotics and other micro-pollutants in waste water, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.

Published: 16 Oct 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.

Published: 09 Oct 2019

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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