Ozone Pollution

UTC3 March 20, 2016

Air pollution seriously affects human health, ecosystems and the climate, being one of the priority challenges of actual European environmental policies. It’s responsible for more than 400.000 premature deaths in Europe each year, damages agricultural crops and forests, threating human well-being and natural systems that sustain our prosperity.

European air pollutant concentrations still frequently exceed limit values set by the EU Air Quality Directives [1]. Many European Member States have either not complied, or will not comply by the required target dates, exceeding limit values set for particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Limits set for the protection of human health and exposures of agricultural crops and other vegetation to ground-level ozone (O3) also continue to exceed the EU’s long-term objectives.

Ozone is frequently considered a forgotten pollutant, in the sense that it is formed in rural areas through chemical reactions from precursor gases emitted mainly in urban environment. Therefore, the polluters (the urban population) often do not suffer to the same extend the effects from the degraded air quality generated by their emissions, whereas the rural population has limited influence on the emissions, which degrade the air they breath. Because of this spatial de-coupling of the sources and the effects, ozone pollution usually receives less attention than that dedicated to other pollutants.

In this section you can find more information on the:

[1] Air quality in Europe — 2014 report, 2014: http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/air-quality-in-europe-2014