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Share of EU urban population exposed to high levels air pollution 2016-2018

During the period of 2016 to 2018, large amounts of the European Union's urban population were exposed to high levels of air pollution. Approximately eight percent of the EU urban population was exposed to PM2.5 concentrations above EU limits or target values. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has stricter guidelines, the share of the urban population exposed to hazardous PM2.5 levels was almost 80 percent. PM2.5 is one of the most harmful air pollutants, and is attributable to thousands of premature deaths a year.

Share of EU urban population exposed to air pollution concentrations above EU and WHO guidelines between 2016 and 2018, by pollutant

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Release date

September 2020



Survey time period

2016 to 2018

Supplementary notes

PM2.5 - Particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less
PM10 - Particulate matter with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less
O3 - Ozone
NO2 - Nitrogen dioxide
BaP - Benzo[a]pyrene
SO2 - Sulphur dioxide

*Less than 1%

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Statistics on "Emissions in the EU"

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