EU: Air pollution could reduce life by almost two years

Mar 02, 2011
A massive traffic jam on Elisabeth bridge on Danube River in Budapest, 2003. An EU-funded study said that curbing air pollution in major European cities could save 19,000 lives per year, add almost two years to local life expectancy and save 31.5 billion euros (43.4 billion dollars) in health costs and work absenteeism.

Curbing air pollution in major European cities could save 19,000 lives per year, add almost two years to local life expectancy and save 31.5 billion euros (43.4 billion dollars) in health costs and work absenteeism, an EU-funded study said on Wednesday.

The nearly three-year probe, called Aphekom, looked at 25 cities in 12 (EU) countries, encompassing nearly 39 million inhabitants.

Only Stockholm was below the threshold of fine particulate pollution of 10 micrograms per cubic metre recommended by the UN's World Health Organisation (WHO), it found.

At the other end of the scale, Bucharest notched up 38.2 micrograms, Budapest 33.7 micrograms and Barcelona 27 micrograms per cubic metre.

Among other cities, pollution in Rome was 21.4 micrograms per cubic metre, while in Paris and London it was 16.4 and 13.1 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

Fine particulates are tiny airborne grains that can be drawn deep into the lungs, with the potential to cause respiratory and .

The pollution comes from traffic exhausts, which means that it is particularly pronounced near major roads.

In a sub-set of 10 cities studied by Aphekom, scientists estimated that between 15 and 30 percent of cases of childhood asthma could attributed to living close to busy roads.

Explore further: Study recommends inmate immunity test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Cleaner air adds 5 months to US life span

Jan 21, 2009

A new study by researchers at Brigham Young University and Harvard School of Public Health shows that average life expectancy in 51 U.S. cities increased nearly three years over recent decades, and approximately five months ...

Diesel exhaust fumes affect people with asthma, study finds

Dec 06, 2007

Diesel exhaust fumes on polluted streets have a measurable effect on people with asthma, according to the first study looking at exhausts and asthma in a real-life setting, published on 6 December in the New England Journal of ...

Record air pollution above the Arctic

May 11, 2006

Last week Scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research observed the highest air pollution on record since measurements began in Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard. Monitoring instruments displayed ...

Indoor air pollution increases asthma symptoms

Feb 19, 2009

A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found an association between increasing levels of indoor particulate matter pollution and the severity of asthma symptoms among children. The study, which followed a ...

Recommended for you

Study recommends inmate immunity test

19 hours ago

(AP)—Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three ...

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

Jul 25, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

Jul 25, 2014

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

User comments : 0