Four Swedish environmentalist organisations set up a joint project for the international dissemination of information on air pollution and acidification. This leads to the establishment of the Swedish NGO Secretariat on Acid Rain in January 1982, re-named the Air Pollution & Climate Secretariat (AirClim) in 2008.
The World Health Organization is shortly expected to publish revised guidelines for the main hazardous air pollutants. These will be of major importance for the forthcoming revision of the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive – a revision proposal is scheduled to be presented by the Commission next year.
EU industrial air pollution cost up to €433 billion per year
The cost of damage caused by pollutant emissions into the air from the largest 12,000 industrial facilities in 2017 has been estimated at €277–433 billion, and half of the total cost was caused by less than two per cent of plants.
Reducing urban air pollution in 31 European countries to below the WHO recommended levels could prevent more than 50,000 deaths per year, and if the cities manage to bring down air pollution in line with the lowest measured levels, over 200,000 annual deaths could be prevented.
Better air quality in Europe has led to a reduction in premature deaths over the past decade, but excessive levels of hazardous tiny particles are still causing more than 400,000 premature deaths every year.