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According to the EU, air pollution kills 1,200 children every year

According to the EU Environment Agency, air pollution still kills more than 1,200 children under the age of 18 in Europe each year and increases the risk of chronic disease later in life. Despite recent improvements, the level of key air pollutants in many European countries remains stubbornly above World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, particularly in central-eastern Europe and Italy, according to the EEA after a study of over 30 countries, including the EU’s 27 members. The report did not include the major industrial nations of Russia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, implying that the continent’s overall death toll could be higher. Last November, the EEA announced that 238,000 people in the EU, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey, would die prematurely as a result of air pollution in 2020. Air pollution causes over 1,200 premature deaths per year in people under the age of 18 in Europe and significantly increases the risk of disease later in life, according to the agency. The study was the agency’s first to concentrate solely on children. Although the number of premature deaths in this age group is low relative to the total for the European population estimated by the EEA each year, deaths early in life represent a loss of future potential and come with a significant burden of chronic illness, both in childhood and later in life, the agency stated.


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