The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently issued their most recent air quality report which stated air pollution throughout Europe had caused more than 400,000 early deaths in 2016.
While European air quality is improving, it is not going at a rate fast enough to prevent these types of deaths. The primary particle matter (PM2.5) is the main culprit. It is a small particle that enters the lungs and bloodstream and has been the cause of physical and mental health problems in thousands.
Nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone are also contributors responsible for so many deaths.
Urban areas experience the worst of the pollution and are more at risk for respiratory disease, cancers, liver and blood disease, and cardiovascular disease.
The primary sources that generate such air pollution are transportation, power plants, industry, agriculture and homes.
“Air pollution is a global threat leading to large impacts on human health and ecosystems. When it comes to Europe, air quality remains poor in many areas, despite reductions in emissions and ambient concentrations,” says the report.