Over 90% of people in Europes cities breathe dangerous air

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Over 90% of people in Europes cities breathe dangerous air

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:03 pm

Over 90% of people in Europes cities breathe dangerous air

More than 90 percent of people living in European cities breathe dangerous air, according to a report by Europe’s environmental regulator. It causes 430,000 shortened lives every year and costs EU governments tens of billions in hospital admissions.

The report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) reveals that despite a steady decline over the past ten years in the most harmful air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and lead, there is still significant air pollution caused by road transport, industry, power plants, and farming.

Air pollution is leading to acid rain, a loss of biodiversity, reduction of visibility, and damage to buildings and materials, according to the report.

The publication also exposes the difference between World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and legal EU limits, particularly with regard to particulate matter (PM), a pollutant made up of tiny particulates of dirt and soot from burning fossil fuels and low-level ozone – a dangerous gas formed when sunlight reacts with some pollutants.

Particulate matter measuring less than 10 microns (PM10), or 10 millionths of a meter, can lodge in the airways and cause respiratory problems.

The authors of the study found that PM and ground-level ozone are a major source of breathing problems and cardiovascular disease, and directly decrease life expectancy.

Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria, Poland, and Slovakia – where some Soviet-era heavy industry remains – were found to be the most exposed to PM pollution, mainly from coal and wood burning.

“Particulate matter remains a serious threat to health, because no threshold for PM has been identified below which no damage to health is observed. In Western, Central and Eastern Europe it was 430,000 premature deaths,” the study found.

While the WHO predicts that up to 98 percent of Europe’s urban population may be exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution, the EU, in stark contrast, says that only up to 33 percent are exposed, according to data published in the study.

“European citizens often breathe air that does not meet the European standards,” said the EEA.

source
http://usahitman.com/piecvda/?utm_sourc ... cy+News%29
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Bad air killed 5500 Czechs in 2012 - press
Ilustracní foto - Smogová situace v Ústeckém kraji trvala i 25. ledna. Na snímku je smogový opar nad ctvrtí Strekov v Ústí nad Labem.

published: 18.10.2013, 09:56 | updated: 18.10.2013 10:03:42

Prague - Thousands of Czechs annually die of diseases caused by dust particles in the air, which killed 5,500 people in the 10.5-million Czech Republic in 2012, according to the Czech Health Institute´s estimates, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes today.

Another 1839 Czechs were hospitalised with illnesses rlated to air pollution last year - 699 with acute heart troubles and 1140 with acute respiratory problems.

These figures have been similar for years, LN adds.

It writes that the Czech Republic is ignoring recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying fine dust pollution limits should be under ten micro-grammes per cubic metre.

The Czech limit is 2.5 times higher, doctor Miroslav Suta, from the Centre for the Environment and Health, told LN.

The paper recalls that the Town Hall in Ostrava, north Moravia, has even filed a complaint against the Czech government over air pollution in the city since the state did not take sufficient measures to improve the situation.

A lower-level court rejected the first complaint three years ago. The Prague City Court is to deal with the second complaint today.

However, Environment Ministry spokesman Matyas Vitik says the Ostrava Town Hall will probably fail again in court.

"The state is taking a number of steps to improve the air quality," Vitik told LN, citing the exchange of old boilers in households among the examples.

The industrial and coal-mining area around Ostrava and Karvina is one of the most polluted localities not only in the Czech Republic but also in Central Europe.

Children from these localities suffer from asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory troubles provoked by bad air ten times more often than elsewhere in the Czech Republic, LN writes.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) also points to bad air in the Czech Republic, which ranks among the worst countries in terms of fine dust pollution, along with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, LN notes.

"According to the EEA´s report, about one-third of Czech cities´ inhabitants breath air polluted above the EU permissible limits," Sita told LN.

Fine dust particles in the air probably provoke lung cancer as well, which some studies indicate, LN says.

Marie Neira, from the WHO, points out that the death toll related to bad air is to increase since the fossil fuels consumption has been rising in the world.

Neira says smog and toxic substances in the air will thus become one of the biggest killers of mankind, LN writes.

Author: CTK
http://www.ctk.cz

source
http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/b ... ess/996977
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