Most European Union countries continue to exceed airborne pollutant levels, although measures against the covid-19 pandemic have temporarily improved the situation, often increasing air quality. This was stated today in its report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which presents the results of measurements from 2019 as well as preliminary data from last year. According to her, the Czechia is one of the countries that exceeded the limits of most of the monitored substances last year, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), dust particles, ground-level ozone and benzoapyrene.
Last year, most EU countries did not meet at least one of the limits for harmful substances. In 2020, eight countries did not fit into the annual limits for nitrogen dioxide emissions, which was a significant improvement compared to 2019, when 18 countries, including the Czech Republic, did not meet them. There was also a significant improvement in the daily concentrations of airborne dust, which were above the set limit in eight countries last year, in 2019 it was in 16 countries.
According to the EEA, countries in Central and Eastern Europe, where many households use solid fuels for heating, are struggling with high levels of dust in the air. Ground-level ozone is a bigger problem in southern European countries because it is formed due to sunlight and higher temperatures. Last year, 17 EU countries exceeded the limits for ground-level ozone.
Last year, the EEA pointed out that quarantine measures in Europe have improved air quality, as restrictions on transport and industry have been significantly reduced in many countries due to restrictions.
According to the European Commission, air pollution is the most significant environmental risk to the health of the population of the European bloc. The EEA states that poor air quality is responsible for around 400,000 premature deaths in the Union each year.