A study published today, Wednesday, showed that reducing air pollution levels to the level recommended by the World Health Organization would spare Europe more than 50 thousand deaths annually, calling for rapid action in this direction.
The World Health Organization figures indicate that air pollution kills more than seven million people annually in the world, as well as causes many diseases and absenteeism from work.
The organization recommends that the level of fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 μm does not exceed the level of 10 micrograms per cubic meter per year and 40 micrograms per cubic meter as an annual average of nitrogen dioxide concentration.
The researchers pointed out that respecting the recommendations of the World Health Organization allows avoiding 51213 premature deaths annually.
“This study shows that many cities are not making enough efforts to tackle air pollution,” said Marc Neuvenhuisen of the Barcelona Institute of Public Health.
The number of deaths related to air pollution varies depending on the cities, as the people of Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic were the most affected by these cases.
In contrast, the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, the Norwegian city of Tromsø, the Swedish Omia and the Finnish city were the least exposed to these risks.
On average, 84% of urban residents are exposed to levels of fine particles (2.5 μm) higher than those recommended by the World Health Organization, and 9% to nitrogen dioxide.