HEAL workshop on the indoor and outdoor Air quality (Brussels, 13 September 2012)
Last September 13, and on the margins of the Health & Environment Alliance’s (HEAL) Annual General Assembly (AGA), a workshop was dedicated to the air quality situation in Europe. Indoor and outdoor air quality, air pollution, and children’s health and air quality measured on the spot were on the agenda.
Why did the Health & Environment Alliance’s (HEAL) decide to put Air quality at the top of its priorities?
While there have been some improvements in air quality in Europe, air pollution continues to be a massive public health problem responsible for nearly half a million deaths each year in the EU alone. It not only concerns political decision-makers and environmental groups, but also researchers and the health community as a whole.
Janez Potočnik, the EU Commissioner for Environment, has designated 2013 as the Year of Air “to bring health & environment impacts from air pollution back into the spotlight”.
The EU is carrying out a major review of its air policy with cities, regions, Member States, the World Health Organisation (WHO), health experts, NGOs and industry set to see where further EU action to curb air pollution is necessary, and to address the problems that many EU Member States are having in complying with EU air quality standards. HEAL adopted its Work Program for 2013 where air quality became one of its top priorities. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Scott Brockett from the European Commission DG Environment, this policy workshop aimed at building capacity through:
During the workshop, the air pollution levels outside the HEAL office were measured with the support of Bert Brunekreef and the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), University of Utrecht. The workshop was organised in close collaboration with the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations (EFA).
Main conclusions of the workshop:
EPHA, as a member organisation of HEAL, actively participated in the workshop supporting HEAL’s efforts to achieve better air quality across the EU.
Further information about air quality is available on the air quality section of the Health & Environment Alliance’s (HEAL) website.
Further documents on air quality:
European Lung Foundation: 10 principles for clean air
EPHA participates in Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL) Annual General Assembly - Brussels, 13 Sept.
EPHA’s Report on Environment and Health
Citizens Initiative to repeal climate change package
EU ministers call for better ways to measure progress and a green economy to promote health