ETC/ATNI Report 13/2019: Health Risk Assessment of Air Pollution in Europe. Methodology description and 2017 results.

This report describes the methodology applied to assess health risks across Europe in 2016, published in the European Environmental Agency’s Air Quality in Europe – 2019 report, and presents the health risk assessment for 2017.

11 May 2020

Prepared by: Joana Soares (NILU), Jan Horálek (CHMI), Alberto González Ortiz (EEA), Cristina Guerreiro (NILU), Artur Gsella (EEA)

This report describes the methodology applied to assess health risks across Europe in 2016, published in the European Environmental Agency’s Air Quality in Europe – 2019 report. The methodology applied is based on the work by de Leeuw and Horálek (2016), with a few adjustments. To estimate the health risk related to air pollution, the number of premature deaths and years of life lost related to exposure to fine particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen dioxide exposure were calculated for 41 countries across Europe. The results show that the largest health risks are estimated for the countries with the largest populations. However, in relative terms, when considering e.g., years of life lost per 100 000 inhabitants, the largest relative risks are observed in central and eastern European countries, and the lowest are found for the northern and north-western parts of Europe. Additionally to the assessment, a sensitivity analysis was undertaken to comprehend how much the presumed baseline concentration levels, the concentration below which no health effects are expected, affect the estimations. In addition, a benefit analysis, assuming attainment of the PM2.5 WHO guidelines across Europe, shows a reduction over 30 % of the 2017 premature deaths and years of life lost numbers.