Traffic-linked air pollution exceeds WHO limits across UK, EU capitals: study

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EURACTIV is an independent pan-European media network specialised in EU affairs, established in 1999.

Although emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the European Union and the United Kingdom are on the decline, they do not meet guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation, a study found.

Concentrations of the gaseous air pollutant exceeded WHO limits in all EU27 and UK capitals last year, according to a study by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

Nitrogen dioxide is a gas commonly released from the combustion of fuels in the transportation and industrial sectors and when inhaled can cause harmful effects on the respiratory system.

The road transport sector was the main source of emissions of nitrogen oxides in 2020, responsible for 37% of the emissions, followed by the agricultural sector with 19%, and the manufacturing and extractive industry at 15%, according to data from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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