In the European Union, 13% of deaths are associated with environmental pollution. Such data is indicated by a new report published on Tuesday by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The document highlights that the current pandemic has drawn attention to environmental health factors, Deutsche Welle reports.
The EEA said in a report released on Tuesday that 13% of deaths in Europe were caused by environmental pollution. The Copenhagen-based agency said pollution caused more than 400,000 premature deaths in the EU each year.
“There is a clear link between the state of the environment and the health of our population,” said EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius.
The report says the new coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how vulnerable Europe’s population is to “human and ecosystem health.” It also showed that vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly, are most at risk of becoming victims of environmental pollution.
“Poor people are disproportionately exposed to air pollution and extreme weather conditions, including heatwaves and extreme cold,” the EEA said in a report. “This is due to where they live, work and go to school, often in socially disadvantaged urban areas, not far from heavy traffic.”
The report also noted discrepancies between Eastern and Western Europe.
However, the quality of the water was highly rated and the bathing water was rated “excellent” in 85% of the test cases.
“Everyone should understand that by taking care of our planet, we save not only ecosystems but also lives, especially the most vulnerable categories of people,” concluded Sinkevičius.