Air pollution causes more than 1,200 deaths a year among children under 18. This increases the risk of chronic disease later in life, the EU environmental agency reports. Despite recent improvements, the levels of key air pollutants in many European countries remain above normal. Further, the EEA makes this observation after a study in over 30 countries.
Furthermore, this report doesn’t cover major industrial countries. This could mean that the death toll on continents could be higher.
The EEA announced last November that 238,000 people died prematurely because of air pollution in 2020 in the EU, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey. Equally important, air pollution causes over 1,200 premature deaths per year among people under the age of 18 in Europe and significantly increases the risk of disease later in life.
The agency’s study was to focus specifically on children. Therefore, these deaths early in life represent a loss of future potential and come with a significant burden of chronic illness, both in childhood and later in life.
Finally, poor air quality can also aggravate chronic conditions like asthma, which affects nine percent of children and adolescents in Europe. It also increases the risk of some chronic diseases later in adulthood.