Air Pollution Nitrogen Dioxide
7. General Conclusions
- 7.1 Recommendations
- 7.2 What other aspects of air pollution are important to address in the development of air pollution policy in Europe?
- 7.3 Concluding remarks
Clean air policies aim to develop strategies to reduce the
risk of adverse consequences of
ambient air pollution for
human health and for the environment as a whole. In the case of
air pollutants, the concept of
thresholds may no longer be
useful in setting standards to protect public health. This is
because certain population groups are very
susceptible and are
affected even at low levels, and because we are now able to
detect even rare cases. Therefore, the application of the policy
principle of providing an adequate margin of safety in order to
eliminate adverse effects even for the most susceptible groups
may not be realistic.
Risk reduction strategies are nevertheless effective in
promoting public health. To develop such strategies, both
qualitative and quantitative knowledge about the most relevant
effects is required.
Therefore, for ozone and
particulate matter, a
meta-analysis of available data was recommended. This analysis
should evaluate the relative risk increase (risk coefficients)
related to ozone and to specific fractions of particulate matter
for different health effects
It was also recommended:
- to update the concentration-response table for
ozone in the current
WHO Air quality guidelines,
- to identify which risk coefficients should be used in
order to estimate long term mortality in relation to PM
- to carry out a more comprehensive monitoring programme
for PM-related health effects (not only relying on
PM2.5) in different European cities.
7.2 What other aspects of air pollution are important to address in the development of air pollution policy in Europe?
Other substances and pollutants posing risk to health which
are currently not adequately addressed in the development of air
pollution policy in Europe include:
Few experts suggested assessing the health effects from diesel
versus gasoline exhaust fumes.
An important issue that remains unresolved concerns the
combined effects on health of urban air pollution mix.
7.3 Concluding remarks
- The body of evidence has grown stronger over the past
few years regarding the health effects of air pollution at
levels currently common in Europe.
- There is sufficient evidence to strongly recommend
further policy action to reduce levels of
in air. This would lead to considerable health benefits.
- Further targeted research and subsequent systematic
evaluation is needed to reduce the existing