Small particles caused more than 238,000 deaths in the European Union in 2020, estimated by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in a recent report.
In addition to deaths, small particles also injure people. In 2019, small particles were estimated to have injured more than 175,000 people in thirty European countries in various ways.
Although it is still a significant health problem, the number of small particles and the health problems they cause are decreasing in the European Union.
Compared to 2005, Deaths caused by small particles have decreased by 45 percent in the European Union.
Small particles also pollute the ecosystem and high concentrations of small particles have been combined even for poor school performance.
With small particles refers to particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers.
According to current knowledge, small particles are the most dangerous of the particles floating in the air, because they are able to penetrate up to the alveoli. They can cause Health Library according to the inflammatory state in the body.
According to the World Health Organization WHO, the concentration of small particles in the air is dangerous when it exceeds 5 micrograms per cubic meter.
According to the EEA, 96 percent of the EU’s urban population is exposed to such high concentrations in their everyday life
Inflammatory conditions can be dangerous, especially for weak people. However, small particles are not directly labeled as a cause of death. The EEA figure is an estimate based on a calculation.
The most important source of fine particles in the European Union is the heating of buildings. It is estimated to cause 58 percent of the emissions of small particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers.
in Finland small particles are estimated to kill around 1,600-1,800 people every year. One key source of small particles is the burning of wood in households.
Read more: Many would now like to heat their house by burning wood, but there are health risks involved
The report also compares the concentrations of slightly larger, 10 micrometer particles in different parts of Europe.
Particles of this size are produced primarily in heating, traffic and industry. In comparison, Finland’s situation is the second best after Estonia.
The weakest situation is in the former Yugoslavia, Turkey and Bulgaria. There are also areas in Italy and Poland where dangerous concentrations of these larger particles are exceeded.
European to be approved by the Commission in 2021 in the action plan has been set as a goal to eliminate dangerous concentrations of small particles from the EU territory by 2050.
The intermediate goal is to reduce them below 55 percent of the 2005 level by 2030.
Effluent have been in a downward trend for a long time, and in 2020 they were already 45 percent lower than in 2005. The concentrations of small particles have decreased, even though the EU’s economy has grown.
However, the year 2020 under review may have been an exception due to the corona pandemic and the shutdowns it caused.
For example, nitrogen dioxide emissions decreased in the 2020 quarter in several large cities in Spain, Italy and France. At traffic junctions, the drop was up to 70 percent.
The report to be published next year will find out whether the downward trend will continue or whether it was a temporary decrease.
In many in the rest of the world the situation is clearly worse than in Europe. In China alone, small particles are estimated to kill up to 2.5 million people annually.