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Premature Deaths in Spain Caused by Contamination
International, 7/6/2015

According to the report on air quality in the Spanish State, presented on Tuesday by Ecologists in Action, 95% of the Spanish population breathes air above the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) levels due mainly to traffic in metropolitan areas.

The report studied data collected from 702 official monitoring pollution stations spread over 135 areas of Spain, with reference to three limitations: maximum contamination values recommended by the World Health Organization; the long-term objective for the protection of vegetation established by the European Union and mandatory limit values set by European Union regulations.

The main source of air pollution is traffic in cities, but there are also others, such as some industrial sectors (steel, cement and power plants) and waste treatment. In turn, the report notes that each year about 27,000 premature deaths in Spain for conditions resulting from air pollution are recorded, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

This results in increased health costs from air pollution, representing between 2.8% and 4.6% of Spanish GDP 46,000 million euros, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization. The damage on crops and natural ecosystems also involve economic costs.

The pollutants that cause health problems are more particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), troposphere ozone or 'bad ozone' (O3) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) .In addition, Ecologists in Action is concerned about the high levels of benzopyrene, a carcinogenic contaminant.


Topic(s):    Environmental managementEnvironmental pollution