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Health groups call for EU air quality standards to be fully aligned with new WHO recommendations

he World Health Organization (WHO) has today published its much awaited new evidence-based Global Air Quality guidelines, the first update since 2005. Health groups now urge the European Union and national decision-makers to protect the health of hundreds of millions by stepping up efforts for clean air for health. This can be achieved first and foremost by fully aligning EU air quality standards with the science based guidelines and other new studies - a step that thousands of citizens have been calling for.

Bengaluru Schoolchildren Breathing Polluted Air: Report

Up to two million schoolchildren (20 lakhs) in Bengaluru, India are potentially exposed to dangerous air pollution during their school day, risking asthma, allergic rhinitis and other chronic health impacts, according to a report released today by Healthy Air Coalition, Bengaluru. 

European governments united in addressing the air pollution health emergency

Following the European Commission’s Conclusions on the Fitness Check of the Ambient Air Quality Directive from November 2019 (3), European Environment Ministers today adopted joint conclusions (4) where they “welcome the Commission's intention to propose a revision of air quality standards, and look forward to discussions on such proposals, including on a possible closer alignment of the EU air quality standards with the WHO air quality guidelines”. 

The European Green Deal identifies right areas for action but more urgency needed to meet zero pollution ambition and benefit health

Today, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal plan that sets out many environmental health issues, where the European Union policies such as climate, air or chemicals, can help deliver a zero pollution objective and better health protection for all. However, to achieve the transformational, systemic change needed to address the magnitude of the challenges the world is facing today, the timeline and scope of the European Green Deal will have to better reflect the evidence which clearly makes the case for more urgent action.

New EU Commission needs to walk the talk on clean air

The Commission Staff Working Document on the Fitness Check of the Ambient Air Quality Directives, published today, makes it abundantly clear that it is necessary and beneficial to have European air quality standards. At the same time, the assessment points out that standards need to be implemented and applied rigorously, and that the current standards are not fully based on the latest science and World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.