A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) confirms the close link between environmental protection and health protection, especially in the most vulnerable sections of the population.
The EEA report, based largely on data from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the causes of death and disease, shows the high percentage of diseases that in Europe continue to be associated with environmental pollution resulting from the activity Human.
If the COVID-19 pandemic represents an extreme example of the complex links between the environment, social systems and public health, it is now clear that social deprivation, unhealthy behavior and demographic changes in Europe affect environmental health, affecting the most weak population.
Air pollution therefore remains the main threat to health in Europe and is responsible for over 400,000 premature deaths per year in the EU. This is followed by noise pollution, which contributes to 12,000 premature deaths, and the effects of climate change, in particular heat waves.
The burden of pollution and climate change assumes different proportions in Europe and consistent differences are noted between the countries of Eastern and Western Europe. Most of the deaths nationwide (27%) are attributable to the environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the lowest rates are recorded in Iceland and Norway (9%).
The AEA report underlines the need to implement an integrated approach to environmental and health policies to combat pollution, combat health inequalities and exploit the benefits offered by nature to support well-being, through a growing investment, including cultural, towards the so-called European Green Deal.