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Health News

EU air quality rules are still too lax to protect us from pollution, study finds


Air quality regulations in Europe may not be sufficient to protect people from harmful sooty particles in traffic and factory fumes, research suggests.

A study published in The Lancet estimated that for every 5 micrograms per cubic metre increase in annual exposure to fine-particle pollution, the risk of dying from natural causes rises by 7 per cent. The lead scientist, Dr Rob Beelen from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said: “A difference of 5 micrograms can be found between a location at a busy urban road and at a location not influenced by traffic.”

The scientists pooled data from 22 studies involving 367,251 people. They said the findings showed “significant adverse health effects” even at “concentrations well below the EU annual average air quality limit”.