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: Blending faith and science to combat obesity

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

Independent safety investigation needed in the NHS

1 hour ago

The NHS should follow the lead of aviation and other safety-critical industries and establish an independent safety investigation agency, according to a paper published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The au ...

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

5 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.