The EU has been taking steps in controlling air pollution since the 1970s. Emphasis is placed on making further progress in controlling emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere and improving fuel quality. Air pollution is cited as the main cause of lung conditions such as asthma and as the cause of over 350,000 premature deaths in the EU every year. Therefore the European Commission is adopting a new strategy to improve the air quality and has declared 2013 as the year of air.
The European Commission has formed a collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in order to review the major air pollutants such as particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and nitrogen dioxide. The findings will be presented at an event this month titled ‘Understanding the health effects of air pollution: recent advances to inform EU policies’.
The European Commission launched a public consultation to collect citizens’ views on ways to improve the existing framework. The results of the consultation will feed into a comprehensive review of Europe’s air policies due in 2013. The Commission will shortly issue the results with a new proposal on the future of EU air policy for 2013.
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