Over 47,000 Polish deaths due to air pollution: report

A smog cloud is seen above Krakow, southern Poland. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Air pollution causes as many as 47,500 premature deaths in Poland every year, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has warned.

Its report said pollution levels were slowly improving in EU countries but remained far higher than EU and World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

Air pollution is the main cause of premature death in 41 European nations and remains “too high”, the EEA said.

The findings are based on 2015 data from more than 2,500 sites.

The study found high levels of air pollutants (PM10) in Poland that came second on the list, topped by Turkey.

“Air pollution is an invisible killer and we need to step up our efforts to address the causes. In terms of air pollution, road transport emissions are often more harmful than those from other sources, as these happen at ground level and tend to occur in cities, close to people,” Hans Bruyninckx, EEA executive director said.

A wider assessment looking back to 1990, included in this year’s report, shows that premature deaths due to air pollution have been cut by about half a million per year. This is due to the implementation of European air quality policies and the introduction of measures at national and local level which have led, for example, to cleaner cars, industry and energy production, states the report.

For the full report, click here.