Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Air Pollution - No Change

Little progress has been made on tackling air quality in Europe, new research shows, despite public outcry in many countries and increasing awareness of the health impacts of pollution.

Levels of the dangerous fine particulate matter known as PM2.5, which can lodge deep in the lungs and pass into the bloodstream, appear to have reached a plateau across Europe, after more than a decade of gradual reductions.

In 2016, the latest year for which an accurate count can be made, there were about 412,000 deaths in Europe from PM2.5 alone, according to the EEA. From 2014 to 2017, the levels of fine particulate matter remained broadly flat, after long-term reductions in levels of the pollutant stretching back to 2000.

“We do not see any big improvement, or worsening, year on year,” said Alberto Gonzalez Ortiz, air quality expert at the EEA, Europe’s environmental watchdog

Levels of ammonia are also on the rise, driven by farming. Ammonia can combine with other pollutants in the air to harm human health, and is also damaging to plants and wildlife. The Guardian revealed earlier this year that 3,000 deaths a year could be avoided in the UK by halving ammonia emissions from farms.

No comments: