Smog in Paris

Rising levels of roadside air pollution plague major cities across the globe. Over in Europe, fine particulate pollution in the cities of Bucharest, Budapest, Barcelona, Paris, Rome and London – to name a few – has been measured at levels exceeding the United Nations World Health Organization's recommended 10 micrograms per cubic meter. In fact, out of 25 European cities studied, only Stockholm was consistently be below the UN's 10 microgram threshold.

The three-year probe, called Aphekom and funded by the European Union (EU), examined 25 cities in 12 EU countries and found that fine particulates emitted from the exhaust of vehicles create significant health problems and are associated with the loss of up to 19,000 lives per year throughout Europe. In addition, the study claims that curbing roadside air pollution could save European cities 31.5 billion euros ($43.4 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) in health-related costs and missed work, while also increasing life expectancy by nearly two years. Hat tip to Andy!

[Source: The Independent | Image: austinevan – C.C. License 2.0]