Health consequences of prolonged exposure to multiple industrial air pollutants
Air pollution is the single most significant environmental health risk in the European Union, causing chronic disease and premature mortality. Some 300 000 premature deaths are caused by fine particulate matter annually in the EU, and the annual economic cost of air pollution is at least €330 billion. Industrial plants are a significant source of air pollution, releasing a wide range of harmful pollutants that can seriously impact on human health and the environment. While previous research has examined the health effects of individual air pollutants, there is a growing need to investigate the health consequences of prolonged exposure and exposure to multiple pollutants, as may occur in locations close to industrial plants. While the EU has implemented a range of initiatives to control and reduce air pollutants from industrial plants, a comprehensive review of available scientific information on the levels of existing air pollutants and their health impacts in the EU is still largely missing. This study investigates the impact of prolonged exposure to multiple air pollutants on EU citizens' health, with a particular focus on geographical areas with large industrial plants that have a history of air pollution, such as the Ruhr valley in Germany and Taranto in Italy. The study proposes policy options for measures to monitor and regulate industrial emissions, particularly in sites with multiple pollutants, that would inform EU standards and could mitigate the identified adverse impacts on human health.
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European Parliament / Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) (STOA)
Health consequences of prolonged exposure to multiple industrial air pollutants (STOA)