Study rates air quality in Europe’s cities: Stockholm best, Bucharest worst
Diesel engines and heating systems produce fine particle pollution, which shortens life expectancy in European cities, according to a study by the Aphekom project.
The study measured air pollution and human health in 25 cities in Europe, with Bucharest, Romania scoring worst and Stockholm Sweden as cleanest, the latter’s pollution measuring just below targets set by the World Health Organization. The air in Bucharest, on the other hand, is so bad that it is estimated to reduce life expectancy by two years.
The study then focused on 10 cities including Barcelona, Brussels and Rome, and, for the first time, took account of the extent to which pollution may trigger chronic complaints rather than just exacerbate them. About half the urban population lives close to a road with more than 10,000 vehicles a day, and that fact seems to be responsible for 15% of asthma cases among under-17s, 23% of chronic bronchitis cases, and 25% of cardiovascular diseases among over-65s.
Dublin and London also scored at the cleaner end of the spectrum, though just shy of WHO goals, while Budapest, Athens and Barcelona were found to be some of Europe’s most polluted cities.
Read more on this story in the Guardian.