According to the European Environment Agency – EEA – 307 thousand people die annually from environmental pollution in the countries of the European Union. At the same time, the number of deaths is decreasing by 10% every year throughout Europe. In the world, the death rate from poor ecology is 7 million people a year.

“The reason for the decline in mortality is the gradual improvement in air quality across the continent,” reports the European Union Air Pollution Data Center. According to the EEA report, if the countries of the European Union followed the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the number of deaths could be halved. But most EU countries still exceed the recommended pollution limits.

Deaths are attributed to nitrogen dioxide, a fine particulate matter produced by cars, trucks and thermal power plants. The substance is in the air and penetrates deep into the lungs of a person. In the early 1990s, deadly particles led to nearly a million premature deaths in the 27 EU member states. By 2005, this figure had more than halved and amounted to 450 thousand people. In 2019, fine particulate matter was responsible for 53,000 premature deaths in Germany, 49,000 in Italy, 29,000 in France and 23,000 in Spain.

Heart disease and strokes, lung disease, cancer are the causes of most premature deaths from environmental pollution.

“Investments in greener heating, agriculture and industry are improving the health and quality of life of Europeans, especially vulnerable groups,” said Hans Brunink, director of the agency.

The EU plans to reduce premature deaths from fine air pollution by at least 55% in 2030 compared to 2005. If air pollution continues to decline, the agency estimates the target will be met by 2032.