WHO released a report on Economic cost of the health impact of air pollution in European Region

May 2, 2015 12:00 IST

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on 28 April 2015 released a report titled Economic cost of the health impact of air pollution in Europe: Clean air, health and wealth.

This is the first assessment of the economic burden of deaths and diseases resulting from outdoor and indoor air pollution in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region.

The report provides key inputs for the policy makers and the civil society across region emphasizing the need for evolving stringent environmental friendly norms.

Important findings of the report
• The report estimated that the WHO European region in 2010 lost 1.6 US trillion dollars due to premature deaths and diseases caused by air pollution, out of which around 1.4 US trillion dollars loss was caused only due to 600000 premature deaths.
• The amount of 1.6 trillion US dollars is nearly equivalent to one tenth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the entire European Union in 2013.
• Out of the 53 countries surveyed in 10 countries this cost is at or above 20 percent of national GDP.
• Over 90 percent of citizens in the Region are exposed to annual levels of outdoor fine particulate matter that are above WHO's air quality guidelines. This accounted for 482000 premature deaths in 2012 from heart and respiratory diseases, blood vessel conditions and strokes and lung cancer.
• In 2012, indoor air pollution resulted in an additional 117200 premature deaths, five times more in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.

Another report titled Improving environment and health in Europe: how far have we gotten? jointly published by WHO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) informed that one in four Europeans still falls sick or dies prematurely from environmental pollution.


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