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The effects of air pollution on human health range from mild changes in respiratory function, through increased respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity, to increased mortality.
In children, outdoor air pollution is associated with acute lower respiratory tract infections, asthma, low birth weight, and impaired lung function.
Overwhelming evidence now shows that small particles (PM10 and PM2.5) are largely responsible for these adverse health impacts and excess deaths.
Air quality is an issue of major concern to European citizens. Since the industrial revolution there has been a significant deterioration in the quality of the air we breathe, mainly as a result of the burning of fossil fuels and the dramatic increase in road traffic.
HEAL has long advocated for the highest possible level of health protection in the EU air quality legislation, one that is based on the World Health Organisation’s new Air Quality Guidelines (AQG) and one that is ambitious enough to significantly reduce the number of deaths and ill health, with a particular attention for vulnerable groups including children.