Breathing is a prerequisite to life: we need to breathe from the moment we are born until the moment we die. Every day an adult breathes 15 cubic meter of air, to the point that more air enters our body and blood than any other substance.
Access to clean air is a fundamental right for all citizens in the European Union
Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor affects 100% of the European population and is responsible for a wide range of health effects. The Seventh EU Environment Action Programme aims at achieving “levels of air quality that do not give rise to significant negative impacts on, and risks to human health and environment”.
Climate change and air pollution make pollen grains suspend in the air more aggressive to human health. People living with asthma, allergy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the first citizens harmed by dirty air. Their symptoms of their diseases may worsen as a result of air pollution.
As affected patients, air quality is one of our areas of work and at EFA we advocate for:
- Reducing air pollution concentrations to levels in line with the recommendations from the World Health Organisation;
- Adopting an EU strategy to tackle bad indoor air quality;
- Securing pollen information and forecasting services and surveys.
Our advocacy activities on air quality are voiced and supported by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), an EU umbrella organisation of which we are full members.
Information on the impact of pollen-related allergies in Europe can be found in the presentation below: