New EEA Report - Importance of Healthy Environment for Healthy Lives

The European Environment Agency published a new report entitled Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe on 8 September 2020. The report draws extensively on World Health Organization data on the causes of death and disease and highlights how the quality of Europe’s environment plays a key role in determining our health and well-being. The report stresses that an integrated approach to environment and health policies is needed to tackle environmental risks, protect the most vulnerable and fully realise the benefits that nature offers in support of health and well-being.

Selected key findings:

- People are exposed to multiple risks at any time, including air, water and noise pollution, and chemicals, which combine and in some cases act in unison to impact on health. European cities are particularly vulnerable to these multiple threats, while also having less access to green and blue spaces.

- Air pollution remains Europe’s top environmental threat to health, with more than 400 000 premature deaths driven by air pollution every year in the EU. Noise pollution comes second, contributing to 12 000 premature deaths, followed by the impacts of climate change, notably heatwaves.

- The burden of pollution and climate change varies across Europe, with clear differences between countries in the east and west of Europe. The highest fraction of national deaths (27 %) is attributable to the environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the lowest in Iceland and Norway at 9 %.

Read the full report here:

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