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Smog in Poland. Smog in Europe. European Environment Agency – report. Hundreds of thousands of premature deaths

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The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a report which shows that 307,000 people died in 2019 due to air pollution. This is less than the year before, but still too much. It was also investigated that poor air quality contributed to the death of 39.3 thousand Poles.

Air pollution by particulate matter, i.e. fine particles harmful to health, caused 307,000 premature deaths in the European Union in 2019, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) published on Monday. That’s a 10 percent drop in deaths over the course of a year.

According to the French agency AFP, according to the study, more than half of the people who died in this way could survive if the 27 EU Member States met the new air quality targets recently set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The impact of air pollution on health (Maria Samczuk, Adam Ziemienowicz / PAP)Maria Samczuk, Adam Ziemienowicz / PAP

EEA report – data and statistics

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In 2018, the number of deaths related to PM2.5 atmospheric aerosols (particles suspended in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) was estimated at 346,000. According to the EEA, the decrease in the number of deaths in 2019 can be partly explained by favorable weather conditions, but most of all by the continuing gradual improvement in air quality in Europe.

In the early 1990s, these tiny particles caused nearly one million premature deaths in the 27 EU countries, according to the report. That number had dropped to around 450,000 in 2005.

Among the main EU countries, in 2019, fine particle pollution was responsible for 53.8 thousand. premature deaths in Germany, 49.9 thousand in Italy, 29.8 thous. in France and 23.3 thous. in Spain. Poland, where 39.3 thousand died prematurely people, is the country most affected in terms of population.

Polluted air in Europe in 2019Maciej Zieliński / PAP

According to the EEA, in the case of ozone (O3) particles, the trend in 2019 was also down from 16.8 thousand. premature deaths, down 13 percent in one year. In the case of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a gas mainly produced by vehicles and thermal power plants, indicators fell by a quarter between 2018 and 2019 to 40.4 thousand. cases.

According to WHO, PM2.5 atmospheric aerosols are the most harmful to human health of all atmospheric pollutants and cause seven million premature deaths annually worldwide, which puts them at levels similar to smoking or an unhealthy diet.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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