Despite better air quality, around 240,000 people in the EU died prematurely in 2020 as a result of exposure to particulate matter in the air around them. The EU Environment Agency EEA published this estimate on Thursday. People who live in cities are therefore particularly at risk: almost all city dwellers (96 percent) are exposed to fine dust levels that are above the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values ​​of five micrograms per cubic meter, it said.

Although air quality in EU countries has improved in recent years, air pollutants remain the greatest environmental health threat. They are one of the main reasons for premature death and illness. Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death, followed by lung cancer and other lung diseases.

According to the Environment Agency, 49,000 deaths were due to chronic exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 24,000 to exposure to ground-level ozone (O3).

According to estimates, around 28,900 premature deaths in Germany in 2020 can be attributed to the pollution of the ambient air with fine dust. For the pollution with nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, the environmental agency gave the values ​​as 10,000 and 4600.

But there is also good news: Between 2005 and 2020, the number of premature deaths due to particulate matter pollution in the EU fell by 45 percent, according to the EEA analysis. If this trend continues, the EU could probably achieve its goal of reducing the number by 55 percent by 2030. The EU Commission had set the target as part of its so-called European Green Deal.

“Nevertheless, further efforts are needed to achieve the vision of zero pollution by 2050 – that is, reducing air pollution to levels that are no longer considered harmful to health,” said the EU agency’s report.

In 2020, measures related to the corona pandemic would have had an impact on pollutant emissions in many countries and led to improved air quality. “Nitrogen dioxide concentrations have temporarily decreased – a direct result of reduced road traffic during the Covid lockdowns,” the EEA reported.

The property tax is one of the domestic political excitement of the year, along with the gas levy and citizens’ income. Missing data, blocked access and the tight deadline give an idea of ​​what owners and tenants could face. Protests are stirring in the southwest.

In the case of the murdered Hanna, there is now an arrest. The police announced this on Saturday. However, the police denied the help of a clairvoyant.

The age of cables: More than 95 percent of international data traffic takes place via gigantic undersea cables at depth. But Europe is still doing far too little to protect this vital infrastructure. The aggressive behavior of China and Russia is now forcing us to act.

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