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

Flexibility mechanism on air pollutants will undermine drive towards better regulation

European environmental and health organisations including HEAL have expressed grave concerns over proposals for a trade-off scheme for pollutants in the EU Clean Air Package. They say it risks rendering the National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive completely unworkable. Read more…

Open letter to new Polish Prime Minister on air pollution

In an open letter to the new Polish PM Ewa Kopacz, HEAL, together with leading health and medical experts in Poland, call to protect the health of citizens from harmful air pollution in Poland. Read more…

HEAL in Poland in debate on health consequences of a coal-based economy

HEAL spoke about the negative health consequences of burning coal in a debate questioning if it is possible to live healthy in a coal-based economy. Read more...

Want to know more about the air we breathe in Europe and how it affects your health?

Air pollution is one of Europe’s gravest environmental and health threats. A group of organisations including HEAL have launched a toolkit including a video and 12 factsheets on air pollution calling on Members of the European Parliament to make the right decisions on the air we breathe. 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



  • 30, Geneva, Switzerland: UNECE Session on Environment and Health


  • 13 - 14, Bonn, Germany: Meeting of WHO Environment and Health Task Force
  • 15: World COPD day
  • 29, Paris, France: Environmental conference on French environment and health action plan

December 2014

  • 1, Brussels, Belgium: EEB celebrates 40 years of environmental action

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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