One in every eight deaths in Europe can be linked to pollution, according to a new report by the EU’s environment agency (EEA).
It said factors such as air and noise pollution, as well as poor water quality and exposure to chemicals, contributed to 13% of all deaths.
The report also noted that poorer communities and vulnerable people were the hardest hit by pollution.
“Strong action is needed to protect the most vulnerable,” the agency said.
“There is a clear link between the state of the environment and the health of our population,” the EU’s Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said.
“Everyone must understand that by taking care of our planet we are not only saving ecosystems, but also lives,” he added.
What did the report find?
The report by the Copenhagen-based agency was released on Tuesday, and was described as “a major assessment on health and [the] environment” in Europe.
It found that a total of 630,000 premature deaths in the EU were attributable to environmental factors in 2012, the latest year for which data is available.
Air pollution contributed to 400,000 annual deaths, with noise pollution being an attributable factor in 12,000. The remaining deaths were linked to extreme weather such as heatwaves. (BBC)