Air pollution in European cities shortens the life of their residents by an average of eight months, and in the most disadvantaged areas — for nearly two years, the report, presented on Monday by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
As experts agency, despite the fact that, in recent decades, the EU managed to significantly reduce harmful emissions and improve urban air quality in some regions, particularly in Eastern Europe, the problems of pollution of the atmosphere remain.
"In many countries (EU) air pollution is still above the legal limit and recommendations regulatory authorities, aimed at protecting the health of EU citizens. On average, in the most contaminated areas of poor air quality reduces life expectancy by up to two years", — said EEA head Jacqueline McGlade (Jacqueline McGlade), whose words are reported.
The main problem, the report called Air pollution aerosol particles — almost a third of all EU citizens in 2010 were living in excess of the maximum permissible concentrations of this pollutant, the legislation of the EU, as in the calculation for the more stringent rules of the World Health Organization (WHO), this figure is more than 80 %.
In addition, increased mortality and respiratory disease and elevated levels of lead contamination of ground-level ozone: according to the agency, in 2010, the allowable concentration of ground-level ozone by the rules of the WHO have been exceeded for 97% of the population. In the EU Ozone also set less stringent targets that violated only 17% of citizens. Ozone is harmful and agriculture: its elevated levels in 2009 were reported by 22% of the cultivated agricultural areas.
Among other key pollutants EEA report identifies nitrogen dioxide NO2, causing "blooming" reservoirs and benzopyrene — carcinogen targets concentrations in 2008-2010 were exceeded in the areas where 20-29% of the EU.
The situation has improved with the sulfur dioxide SO2 — sulfur dioxide: its emissions in recent years, strongly decreased after the adoption of the EU legislation on clean air emissions and reduce the sulfur content in the fuel. According to the agency, in 2010, exceeding the maximum permissible concentrations of SO2 for the first time was not recorded in any European city.
Relatively low levels of contamination have been recorded by carbon monoxide CO, benzene, as well as heavy metals — arsenic, cadmium, nickel, lead.