Human health and air pollution

  • © Mark Dumont @

    © Mark Dumont @

    Air pollution impacts to human health are estimated to reduce human lives by eight months to two years, depending upon the region in which one lives.

  • A recent report by the European Environment Agency states that microscopic particles, among the most harmful forms of pollution, remain at dangerous levels around Europe. Though policies are in place to reduce emissions and much success has been achieved (e.g. sulphur dioxide emissions did not exceed limits in 2010) much more can be done.
  • By World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, all EU urban populations were exposed to dangerous pollution. Moreover, pollutants are systematically polluting the environment by entering water bodies, impacting agriculture and entering the food chain.

Combating the problem requires a collaborative effort given the transient nature of air pol- lution and should integrate multi-faceted solutions. For example, increasing green space may lead to improved urban air quality while providing additional social benefit.

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