Air quality

Each year, 500,000 Europeans die prematurely from air pollution
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Air pollution has many severe effects on human health and the environment. Each year millions suffer from poor health as a result of bad air quality, both indoors and outdoors. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

News on our policy work

Air quality research suggests major benefits for children
New research shows that children born to mothers exposed to high levels of PAHs in air pollution during pregnancy are five times more likely to show symptoms that characterise attention deficit disorder. Given the high costs of treating ADHD, it makes health and economic sense for the EU to advance on new air pollution rules. Read more…

Joint position paper on the revision of the NEC Directive
In December 2013, the EU Commission adopted a package to improve air quality in Europe, with the proposal for new emission caps under the National Emission Ceilings Directive at the core. An ambitious NEC is key to improving air quality all over Europe, for the benefit of citizens’ health. Read more…

Upcoming air quality conference in Warsaw
On 4 December, HEAL in Poland will bring together leading health experts, medical institutions and policy-makers to discuss the latest science on air pollution in Poland, and ways to improve the air. Read more…

HEAL presents health evidence in the Polish Parliament
On 6 November HEAL in Poland spoke at a conference on health protection and the coal-based development model of Poland, organised under an official patronage of MP Anna Grodzka. Read more…

Read more here


Air pollution sources and health problems (PL)

Brochure on domestic coal combustion in Poland

Know your air for health website: English - German - Italian

HEAL and EU ESCAPE patient information leaflets: Air quality and heart and lung health



  • 29, Paris, France: Environmental conference on French environment and health action plan

December 2014

  • 1, Brussels, Belgium: EEB celebrates 40 years of environmental action
  • 1 – 12, Lima, Peru: UNFCCC COP20
  • 4, Warsaw, Poland: HEAL conference on energy, air quality and health
  • 6, Lima, Peru: GCHA Climate and Health Summit 2014: Investing in Health
  • 17, Brussels, Belgium: EU Environment Council

The Unpaid Health Bill: How coal power plants make us sick presents the first-ever economic assessment of the health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in Europe as well as testimonies from leading health advocates, medical experts and policy makers on why they are concerned about coal.

The report develops recommendations for policy-makers and the health community on how to address the unpaid health bill and ensure that it is taken into account in future energy decisions.

For a brief summary of the report see HEAL’s coal and health postcard

More information here

Learn more about HEAL’s views and policy work on Air quality

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Diana Smith

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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