Have you ever heard of fine particles? The European Environment Agency’s Report was released this Monday and reveals numbers that continue to be worrying. According to the data, air pollution, due to fine particles, will have caused a total of 307,000 deaths in the European Union in 2019.
Had the 27 member states fulfilled the air quality goals recently defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), a good part of the deaths could have been avoided.
Fine particles: Despite the numbers, values for 2019 are lower
In 2018, the number of deaths linked to PM 2.5 fine particles (particles suspended in air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) was 346 thousand, reveals JN. The drop in 2019 is partly explained by favorable weather conditions, but above all by the progressive improvement in air quality in Europe.
The fine particles, which penetrate deep into the lungs, have caused thousands of deaths in recent years. In 2019, these particles were responsible for 53,800 premature deaths in Germany, 49,900 in Italy, 29,800 in France and 23,300 in Spain, according to the European Environment Agency. In Portugal, the fine particles were responsible for the premature death of almost six thousand people.
With 39,300 deaths, Poland is the most affected country in relation to its population.
For ozone particles (O3), the trend in 2019 was also downward, with 16,800 premature deaths, a decline of 13% in a year. For Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), a gas produced mainly by vehicles and thermal power plants, premature deaths decreased by 25% between 2018 and 2019, to 40,400.
Air pollution is an environmental threat to the health of all Europeans. In youngsters, air pollution can impair the development of the lungs, cause respiratory infections and aggravate asthma.
Source: Pplware by pplware.sapo.pt.
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