Air pollution is now “the biggest environmental risk” to public health in Europe but governments are failing to adequately deal with the crisis, the EU Court of Auditors has found. Europe’s air pollution limits are “much weaker” than WHO guidelines and most EU countries do not comply with them anyway, according to the damning new report.
Air pollution is a complex mix of several pollutants, so the effects attributed to one pollutant may be partly caused by some others. Health experts consider the pollutants identified above to be proxies for the whole mixture. In particular, PM2.5 has been shown to be a robust indicator of the risk associated with exposure to particulate matter from diverse sources and in different environments.
Average life expectancy lost per person worldwide due to the following reasons are:
1.8 years - Particulate pollution,
1.6 years - smoking,
11 months - Alcohol and drug use,
7 months - unsafe water, sanitation, hand washing,
4.5 months - road injuries,
4 months - HIV/AIDS, Malaria,
3.5 months - Tuberculosis,
22 days - conflict and terrorism.
Image source: https://www.statista.com/chart/16154/average-life-expectancy-lost-per-person-worldwide/
Image license: CC-BY-ND