Almost 400,000 deaths in Europe in 2021 attributable to filthy air — EU report | Inquirer News

Almost 400,000 deaths in Europe in 2021 attributable to filthy air — EU report

/ 08:58 AM November 25, 2023

Fog and smog in Milan

The Allianz Tower, the Libeskind Tower and the Generali Tower are pictured amidst dense fog and smog in Milan, Italy, January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/ File photo

BRUSSELS — Almost 400,000 deaths in Europe in 2021 were related to three main air pollutants and some could have been avoided if pollutants had been reduced to World Health Organisation-recommended levels, an EU report said on Friday.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) said that within the European Union, pollution caused by fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which affects people with heart diseases in particular, led to 253,000 deaths in 2021. Pollution from nitrogen dioxide (NO2), most harmful to people with diabetes, resulted in 52,000 deaths and short-term ozone (O3) exposure led to 22,000 deaths.


Including a larger set of European countries outside the EU, there were 389,000 pollutant-related deaths in Europe, the EEA said in its report for 2021, released on Friday.


“Air pollutant concentrations in 2021 remained well above the levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its air quality guidelines,” the EEA said in the report.

“Reducing air pollution to these guideline levels would prevent a significant number of attributable deaths in EU member states.”

The highest number of deaths from PM2.5 in 2021 occurred in Poland, Italy and Germany, while countries in northern Europe such as Iceland, Scandinavia and Estonia saw the lowest impact.

NO2 and short-term O3 exposure had the biggest impact on deaths in Turkey, Italy and Germany, according to the report.


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TAGS: air pollution, Europe, world news

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