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

Turkey: Promoting integration of health evidence in energy decisions
The Iskenderun Bay region in Turkey faces a huge health challenge with plans to build around 20 new coal-fired power plants. A state court recently ruled that cumulative impact assessments need to be carried out for all new projects, to assess the total burden from pollution. Read more…

Public Health recommendations for strong EU air quality law (NEC)
Ahead of the EU Environment Council meeting on 16 December, health organisations including HEAL, sent a letter to the Ministers of Environment and Ministers of Health of the EU Member States, urging them to support saving the lives of tens of thousands Europeans lost each year. Read more…

EU takes Poland to court over air quality
Poland has one of the worst air quality in the EU with more than 40,000 citizens dying prematurely due to high concentrations of particular matter and other pollutants. On 10 December, the EU Commission referred Poland to the European Court of Justice over lack of action for cleaner air. Read more…

Successful webinar on smog in Poland
HEAL in Poland organised a webinar for journalists interested in the issue of smog. Experts working on clean air informed them about a range of topics from air quality laws to scientific and health issues. The webinar took place as almost the whole country was experiencing a smog episode. Read more…

Read more here

Take action!

- Climate change calls to action


- Youtube video: Health professionals in action for Healthy Energy and Climate, 4 December 2015

- Why health concerns should prompt an ambitious Paris package, Outreach magazine, 7 December 2015

- Coal Atlas by Heinrich Boll Stiftung and Friends of the Earth International includes HEAL figures

- Healthy Energy Initiative - Health Impacts of Energy Choices - A Briefing Paper for the Health Community

- Healthy Energy Initiative - From Extraction to Renewal: A Global Campaign for Healthy Energy

- HEAL Webinar series COP21 – Recordings

Related HEAL/EFA websites

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

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



- 16, Brussels, Belgium: Meeting of the EU Environment Ministers

- 14 - 17, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary

January 2016

- 1: Start of Dutch Presidency of the European Council

- 21 - 22, Paris, France: International workshop on EDC effects on wildlife and human health

February 2016

- 4: World Cancer Day

- 13: Fossil fuel free day

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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