New figures from the European Environment Agency report that tiny airborne particles are a pollution threat that are threatening the environment and the health of European citizens. The authors of the report did say that many nations are taking actions to reduce the amount of pollutants that are emitted into the air including carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and lead.
A separate story suggested a link between long term exposure to air pollution and low birth weight. Executive director of the EEA, Hans Bruyninckx stated that most EU nations took large steps over the last few decades in order to reduce how many visible signs of air pollution are present. As a result, most of the larger cities in the Union are no longer covered with large smog blankets.
He went on to explain that road transport is one of the largest contributors to fine particulate air pollution which he said is responsible for damage to ecosystems and human health. He went to say that a large portion of the population is living within a healthy environment and Europe is going to need to do a lot more work in order to get on a path towards true sustainability.
The report by the EEA revealed that data shows that 96% of the urban population of the EU has been exposed to fine particulate matter that is much higher than the guidelines set by the UN World Health Organisation. Another 98% live in ground level ozone concentrations that are much higher than the WHO guidelines.
In addition, the report is also concerned that the natural environment is being damaged by ongoing pollution with air pollution negatively impacting the vegetation of the ecosystem and reducing biodiversity. Another study that was also released this week found that a large percentage of low weight births could be reduced if Europe were to find a way to significantly lower the air pollution levels.