Air quality

Each year, 500,000 Europeans die prematurely from air pollution
You are here: Home page » Policies » Air quality
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

Environment Council discusses the EU clean air package
At their recent meeting in Luxembourg, EU environment ministers held an exchange on proposed measures to improve air quality in Europe. HEAL is concerned by the low level of ambition expressed by some member states. Read more…

Joint Task Force on health aspects of air pollution
For the first time HEAL participated in a meeting of the Joint Task Force on Health Aspects of Air Pollution, established within the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Read more…

WHO on air pollution in global cities
The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its database on urban air quality, now covering information on 1600 cities across 91 countries. The data shows that in most cities worldwide, people breathe in air that is considered to be harmful to health. Read more…

“Know your air for health” aims to help us breathe more easily
Improving air quality can limit the symptoms of asthma and other breathing problems in children and adults, say HEAL and the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) on the joint launch of the “Know your air for health” website. Read more…

Génon K. Jensen receives award for advocacy on air quality
HEAL’s Executive Director has received a Clean Air in Cities Award for a valuable personal contribution to improving air quality in London and elsewhere. Read more…


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

HEAL and EU ESCAPE information leaflets:
Air pollution and health - for patients with lung disease

Air pollution and health – for patients with cardiovascular disease

Air pollution and health – for individuals and families concerned about lung cancer

Air pollution and health – for parents of children with asthma and allergies


1 July: Italian presidency of the EU Council of Ministers begins

1 - 3 July, Strasbourg, France: First plenary session of the new European Parliament

4 July, Brussels: HEAL webinar (DE): Chronic diseases, health problems and Chemicals: What’s the connection? - More information in German available via HEAL’s Chemicals Health Monitor website in German - To register for the webinar contact Nadia at



30 June – 1 July, Vilnius, Lithuania: WHO European Environment and Health Ministerial Board (EHMB) - More information via the WHO Europe website


1 July: Italian presidency of the EU Council of Ministers begins

1 - 3 July, Strasbourg, France: First plenary session of the new European Parliament


27 – 29 August, Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Conference on health and climate - More information here


4 – 5 September, Brussels, Belgium: EPHA 5th Annual Conference - More information available here


6 – 7 October, Brussels, Belgium: HEAL Annual General Assembly - More information coming soon!


November, Israel: Mid-term review of the European Environment and Health Process (EEHP) - More information available via the WHO Europe website

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 65 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.

HEAL website privacy policy