Perception of air pollution sources in Europe

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Perception of air pollution sources in Europe

Air pollution is a form of pollution, that is the set of all physical, chemical and biological agents that modify the natural characteristics of the earth's atmosphere. The effects on human health due to poor air quality mainly involve the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system.

Individual reactions to air pollution depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the degree of exposure, the individual's health and genetics. Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the worst toxic pollution problems in the world in the 2008 report.

Outdoor air pollution causes 2.1 to 4.21 million deaths every year. Overall, air pollution causes the deaths of approximately 7 million people worldwide each year and is the single largest environmental health risk in the world.

Productivity losses and degraded quality of life caused by air pollution are estimated to cost the world economy € 50 trillion per year. Various pollution control technologies and strategies are available to reduce air pollution.

The study: Public perception of air pollution sources across Europe, published on the Ambio magazine, try to explain: "Air pollution is one of the primary concerns of our society for its effect on human health and the environment.

Among the policy measures that can be put in place to limit air pollutant emissions, end-of-pipe technologies and / or regulatory instruments may be implemented through legislative acts. Also, equally important are behavioral measures, requiring citizens' active involvement.

The success of any measure to limit pollutant emissions requires the acceptance by the citizens that, in turn, implies a correct perception of the main pollutant emission drivers. We present here the comparison between the public perception of air pollution sources and the real-world situation through a survey carried out in seven European countries and involving 16 101 respondents.

Our study shows a dramatic underestimation of the contribution of the agri-food sector to air pollution. T his result is common to all respondents in the seven countries examined and only to a small extent depends on gender, age and socio-economic status of the respondents. "