Air quality

The air we breathe contains emissions from motor vehicles, industry, heating and commercial sources, as well as tobacco smoke and household fuels. Air pollution harms human health, particularly in those already vulnerable because of their age or existing health problems.

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Top story

Visualizing the economic and health benefits of environmental measures: a winning combination

“Visualizing” both the health and economic gains can help persuade policy-makers to improve environmental health and obtain government support,

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Health risks of air pollution in Europe – HRAPIE project

Recommendations for concentration–response functions for cost–benefit analysis of particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen dioxide

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WHO air quality guidelines

The WHO air quality guidelines for outdoor air pollution represent the most widely accepted and up-to-date assessment of health effects of air pollution, recommending targets for air quality at which health risks are significantly reduced.

Air quality guidelines. Global update 2005. Particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide

Data and statistics

One year of life expectancy is lost for every person in the WHO European Region due to exposure to particulate matter (PM). This is mostly due to the increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and lung cancer.

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Key policy resources

Parma Declaration

Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, Parma, Italy, 2010

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