In 2020, at least 238,000 people in the European Union died prematurely from exposure to airborne particulate matter. This is evident from the European Environment Agency (EEA) air quality report. This is a slight increase from his 2019, which saw 231,000 deaths.
Air quality in the European Union is improving every year, and the number of premature deaths from air pollution is generally decreasing. Nevertheless, air pollution remains the number one health hazard for people and the environment.
Heating of residential, commercial and industrial buildings is a major source of particulate matter. Road traffic is the largest source of nitrogen oxide emissions.
Urban dwellers are particularly at risk. 96% of the urban population is exposed to particulate matter (PM2.5) exceeding the guideline of 5 micrograms per cubic meter set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2020, 238,000 lives were lost due to poor air quality in the European Union. In addition, air pollution also contributes to serious health problems. Fine dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause bronchitis, asthma, and all types of lung disease. According to the EEA, in Europe he lost more than 175,000 years of healthy life expectancy in 2019 from poor air alone.
Europe is moving in the right direction. Compared to 2005, the number of premature deaths due to poor air quality has decreased by 45%. To reach the European Zero Pollution Action Plan target by 2050, we need to reduce the number of deaths by 55% by 2030.
biodiversity is under threat
The environmental damage is also considerable. In 2020, nitrogen damaged three-quarters of her EU-27 ecosystem’s total area. This is a 12% decrease compared to he 2005. The proportion of Europe’s ecosystems where air pollution threatens biodiversity should be reduced by 25% by 2030.