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Air Quality

Air quality is an issue of major concern to Balkan Med countries and Europe in general. Currently the primary responsibility for complying and monitoring of the air quality is assigned to respective environmental ministries and agencies, although it is evident that all public bodies, , must take coherent proactive measures to secure clean air. Information availability and understanding of air quality is an essential prerequisite for its efficient management. Air pollution has been one of the first environmental problems to be addressed by the EU considering that clean air is essential to good health and a basic human need.

Worldwide, bad outdoor air caused an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016 according to the World Health Organization.

  • Every year, more than 400 000 people in the EU die prematurely due to the consequences of air pollution
  • Approximately 6.5 million people fall sick as air pollution causes diseases such as strokes, asthma and bronchitis.
  • Late reports confirm that up to one-third of the EU urban population are exposed to air pollution which exceeds EU limit values.
  • Air pollution also harms our natural environment, impacting both vegetation and wildlife: almost two-thirds of Europe‚Äôs ecosystems are threatened by the effects of air pollution.
  • The past years demonstrate significant deterioration in the quality of the air we breathe, mainly as a result of burning of fossil fuels and road traffic.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

Outdoor air pollution is produced both from natural but mostly anthropogenic sources.

Anthropogenic sources include:

  • fuel combustion from motor vehicles
  • heat and power generation
  • industrial facilities
  • municipal and agricultural waste sites and waste incineration/burning
  • residential cooking, heating, and lighting with polluting fuels.

The pollutants with the most adverse health effects are:

  • Particulate Matter (PM)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
Project co-funded by the European Union and National Funds of the participating countries. European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)