Air Pollution. The Silent Killer

The latest report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) serves as a stark reminder of the deadly consequences of air pollution. More than 500,000 lives were claimed by toxic air in the EU in 2021 alone, with approximately half of these fatalities preventable, had pollution levels adhered to recommended limits. The culprits behind these alarming figures are fine particulates (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide, and excessive exposure to ozone, contributing to diseases like lung cancer, heart conditions, asthma, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Deși a existat o scădere cu 41% a deceselor provocate de PM2,5 între 2005 și 2021 și acest lucru este absolut lăudabil, Virginijus Sinkevičius, comisarul UE pentru mediu, a subliniat că poluarea aerului rămâne principala amenințare pentru sănătatea mediului  în UE și sunt imperative acțiuni urgente și decisive, în contextul în care Parlamentul European a votat pentru sincronizarea regulilor UE privind calitatea aerului cu standardele OMS, dar a amânat implementarea până în 2035.

The impact of air pollution on various health issues is nuanced. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), prolonged disability significantly must also be taken into account. Specifically, COPD induced by PM2.5 pollution in 2021 accounted for an estimated loss of approximately 150,000 years of life across the EU, along with an equal number of years of disability.

Immediate and decisive policy actions coupled with collective responsibility are vital to safeguarding the health and well-being of the population and future generations from the pervasive threat of toxic air.

Source: The Guardian