Report highlights deadly impact of air pollution

Report highlights deadly impact of air pollution

More than 13,300 people (or a town the size of Nafpaktos) died as a result of long-term exposure to air pollution in Greece in 2019, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in its annual briefing on the health impacts of the problem in Europe on Monday.

Calling air pollution the “single largest environmental health risk in Europe,” the EEA said that compliance with World Health Organization guideline levels for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of 5 µg/m3 would have led to 58% fewer deaths in 2019 across Europe and 67% in Greece.

Across the EU27, on the basis of 2019 figures – the latest available – 307,000 premature deaths were attributed to chronic exposure to fine particulate matter. However, this was a drop of 33% compared with 2005, a rate that, if continued, will bring Europe within reach of its Zero Pollution Action Plan target, which seeks to reduce deaths by air pollution by 55% by 2030 against 2005.

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