Air pollution killed 238,000 people in Europe in 2020
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This figure, slightly over a year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was made public in a report by the European Environment Agency and highlights, once again, the environmental threat that pollution poses to the European health.
” Exposure to concentrations of fine particles above the World Health Organization recommendations caused 238,000 premature deaths. in EU countries, warns the European Environment Agency (EEA) in a new report published on Thursday, November 24.
► To read: LThe report of the European Environment Agency
This figure, slightly higher than that of 2019, is explained by the fact that Covid-19 has more severely affected people with comorbidities linked to air pollution such as cancer, lung diseases or type 2 diabetes. In addition, this increase refers to pollution by PM2 .5 fine particles.
The EEA analysis shows that the main source of particle pollution in Europe comes from the combustion of fuels in the residential, commercial and institutional sectors. These emissions are mainly linked to the combustion of solid fuels for heating buildings. Industry, road transport and agriculture are other important sources of these pollutants.
From 2005 to 2020, the number of premature deaths from exposure to fine particles had been reduced by 45% in the European Union. Therefore, the trend is for a constant decrease in the number of deaths in the last twenty years and the European Environment Agency estimates that the European Union is on the right track to achieve its objective of reducing it by more than 50%. premature deaths in 2030 compared to 2005 (431,000 deaths that year).
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Air pollution also damages terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with significant economic losses, in particular with regard to wheat yields (1.4 billion euros in 35 European countries in 2019).