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Air Pollution Killing 1200 young people every year in Europe: EEA Report

Air Pollution causes 1200 premature deaths every year in Europe. The air pollution level in Europe is below the recommended level of the WHO

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More than 1200 premature deaths caused by air pollution

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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The European Environment Agency report found that children are exposed to air pollution levels above the WHO recommendations. Every year more than 1200 young children and adolescents are dying due to air pollution in Europe, claimed the European Environmental Agency (EEA) on Monday.

According to the reports, children are more vulnerable to air pollution, since they are in the womb to reach adulthood.

The number of premature deaths in this age group is relatively low to the total population each year. But early deaths mean loss of future potential, and it also comes with the serious burden of chronic illness, both in childhood and later in life.

EEA study over 30 nations

Despite many efforts, the level of air pollution is high in many European countries and it's stubbornly above the WHO guidelines, especially in central-eastern Europe and Italy, claimed EEA after studying 30 nations, including 27 members of the European Union. 

The key point is the EEA report does not include major industrial nations, such as Russia, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine, which suggests that the overall death tolls could be higher.

1200 premature deaths every year

According to EEA's report, over 1200 premature deaths happened every year under the age of 18, and it increases the risk of diseases in the later part of life.

EEA also announced last November that around 2,38,000 people died prematurely due to air pollution in the EU in 2020.

The report majorly focussed on children, and the agency reported that "Although the number of premature deaths in this age group is low relative to the total for the European population estimated by EEA each year, deaths early in life represent a loss of future potential and come with a significant burden of chronic illness, both in childhood and later in life."

The report further claimed that 97% of the urban population among the surveyed countries was exposed to the air and failed to meet the WHO recommendations last year.

The EEA suggests reducing the emission from transport, industry and heating.

The practical solution to protect the children in the short term is to improve air quality around schools by increasing more green space.

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First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 2:34 PM IST

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