Europe's Cities Still Suffering from Harmful Air Pollution

A new report form the European Environment Agency (EEA) says air pollution is still the main environmental health hazard.

According to a news release from the European Environment Agency, its annual air quality report shows that almost all city dwellers are exposed to pollutants at levels deemed unsafe by the World Health Organization (WHO). For some pollutants, more than 95 percent of the urban population is exposed to unsafe levels.

Alongside the report, the EEA is publishing data showing pollution levels in almost 400 cities across Europe. While many large cities have relatively low levels of pollution, others have pollution levels above EU limits for a significant part of the year. "Air pollution is still high in Europe," EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said. "It leads to high costs for our natural systems, our economy, the productivity of Europe's workforce, and, most seriously, the general health of Europeans."

The most serious air pollutant is fine particulate matter, similar to dust or soot but with very small particles capable of penetrating deep into lungs. Long-term exposure to particulate matter was responsible for the vast majority of air pollution-caused premature deaths in Europe in 2011, the report shows, while high levels of ground-level ozone over short episodes also caused a significant number of deaths.

Most air pollutants have declined slightly over the last decade, including particulate matter and ozone. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), another pollutant, has not fallen as fast as expected. This is partly because vehicles are an important source of NO2, and vehicle emission standards have not always led to the anticipated reductions.

An increasing body of scientific research shows that air pollutants may be more harmful than previously thought. Air pollution's effect on respiratory illnesses and heart disease is well known, but new studies have shown that it can also affect health in other ways, from fetal development to illnesses late in life.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's mobile app allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior on the go, with or without an internet connection. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • The 4 Stages of an Incident Investigation

    So, your workplace has just experienced an incident resulting in the injury or illness of a worker. Now what? OSHA recommends that you conduct investigations of workplace incidents using a four-step system.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

Free Whitepaper

Stand Your Ground: A Guide to Slip Resistance in Industrial Safety Footwear

This white paper helps to clarify this complexity, so you can better navigate the standards and better ensure the safety of your employees.

Download Now →

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2019

    October 2019

    Featuring:

    • WINTER HAZARDS
      Preparing for Old Man Winter's Arrival
    • CONSTRUCTION
      Staying Safe in the Trenches
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Setting a Higher Standard: The Limitations of Regulatory Limits
    • ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Five Important Things to Know About Arc Flash PPE Programs
    View This Issue