Air Pollution Cuts Two Years from an Average European’s Life

World Economic forum informs according to a report published in the European Heart Journal on March 12, the average person living in Europe loses two years of their life because of health effects of breathing polluted air.

The report estimates that annually 17% of the 5 million deaths in Europe are due to air pollution. Many of those deaths, between 40 and 80% of the total, are due to air pollution effects that have nothing to do with the respiratory system but rather are attributable to heart disease and strokes caused by air pollutants in the bloodstream.

Previous reports estimated that air pollution takes one year off the average global lifespan.

According to the WHO, India has the highest levels of small particulate-matter pollution globally. However, Europeans are exposed to more air pollution than the global average.  But exposure isn’t distributed evenly across the continent. Previous research has demonstrated that Eastern European countries produce far more air pollution than those in Western Europe, due to more reliance on coal-fired power plants to generate electricity, higher use of wood and coal stoves for heating, and fewer pollution-mitigation policies overall.

A report published in October found that air pollution could save Europe up to $775 billion by 2025, by saving on health costs and the economic damage of premature deaths, but also by increasing tourism and real estate values in places currently devalued due to dirty air.

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