The European Commission 'promises review of clean air standards'
Feb 01 2013
Following reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) which claimed that air pollution could be linked to a variety of health problems including cardiovascular and respiratory deaths, the European Union (EU) has promised a review of its clean air standards later this year.
Indeed, EU commissioner Connie Hedegaard spoke in parliament on Thursday (January 31st 2013) to say that air pollution is a serious problem that needs strict and immediate attention.
"Air quality is a matter that should be a concern to all of us – as breathing human beings but also as citizens, colleagues and politicians," she said.
The EU had decided to name 2013 the 'Year of air', to symbolise the dedication to cleaning up the air this year.
The announcement has come just days after the worst ever smog was witnessed in China's capital Beijing.
Ms Hedegaard has been quick to reinforce that this is not just a problem overseas, instead she called it a mistake "to think that this is just a developing country problem".
In fact, it is estimated that poor air quality was the cause of more than 420,000 premature deaths in the EU in 2010 alone.
"Air pollution is still deeply affecting European citizens and workers; not just as a cause of premature death, but also as a cause of diseases," Ms Hedegaard claimed.
The EU is looking for public opinion on how to tackle the problem, and it will be asking for advice until March 4th 2013.
"Through this consultation, the European citizens have the chance to express their opinion about possible solutions for air pollutions.
"The feedback received will feed into the formulation of Europe's new air quality policy in 2013," she said.
One area that needs tackling, according to Ms Hedegaard is the pollution caused by airports.
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