Nine in ten European city residents inhale polluted air

In spite of huge reductions in the emissions of chemical pollutions, over ninety per cent of European city inhabitants are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution. The New Scientist reports that the most important pollutants in Europe are known as PM2.5. Between 91 and 96 per cent of the aforementioned inhabitants are exposed to levels of PM2.5 which is higher that the European guidelines- which is not as strict as those recommended by the World Health Organisation.

This study can be directly related to an epidemiological study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, which suggested that air pollution harms foetuses. A higher exposure of pregnant women to PM2.5 was associated with lower birth rates, which is a measure of how well the foetus was able to grow in the womb. Naturally, healthcare professionals are concerned.

The findings strengthen the case for the EU to tighten its air quality targets to bring them into line with the WHO’s recommendations.

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