Air pollution costs European city residents hundreds of billions in health costs, report says

European city residents in 30 different countries pay a total of €166 billion per year or €385 million per city in health costs related to air pollution, a new report has found.

London had the highest total damage cost due to air pollution, which sets residents back €11.4 billion per year.

This works out to air pollution costing the average European city resident €1,276 per year, according to the study conducted for the European Public Health Alliance.

“Our study reveals the magnitude of the damage toxic air is causing to people’s health and the huge health inequalities that exist between and within countries in Europe,” said Sascha Marschang, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)’s acting secretary-general.

Transport is a main source of urban air pollution and Marschang encourages small changes to reduce costs.

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To a large extent, the situation can be influenced by transport policies and cities can reduce costs by switching to zero-emission urban mobility. Governments and the European Union should bear these costs in mind for transport policy in order to support, not to hinder, a healthy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Marschang said in a statement.

The report focused on outdoor pollution associated with particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen dioxide, air pollutants that cause the most illness and death according to the EEA.

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