In 可持续性 Sustainability, 气候变化 Climate Change

One in eight deaths in Europe linked to pollution, environment, EU says

欧洲环境署周二发表的报告说,在欧洲联盟国家,13%的死亡跟污染有关,而当前的冠病大流行显示人类必须关注环境健康因素。

该报告指出,欧洲人经常面对空气污染、噪音和化学物质等环境风险,而冠病大流行是“人类健康与生态系统健康”息息相关的一个例子。“这种人畜共通病原体的出现与环境退化以及人类与食物系统中动物的相互作用有关。”

报告说,根据可获得的最新数据,2012年在欧盟27国和英国,有63万起死亡病例可能是环境因素造成的。

东西欧差异大

西欧和东欧存在很大差异,罗马尼亚受环境因素的影响最大,五分之一的死亡与污染有关,瑞典和丹麦等国则是每10人有一人的死因与污染有关。

污染主要造成癌症、心血管疾病和呼吸道疾病。但欧洲环境署强调,“只要消除环境风险对健康的影响,这些死亡都可避免”。

报告也说:“贫困人口不成比例地暴露于空气污染和极端天气中。这与他们生活、工作和上学的地方有关,通常是靠近交通繁忙的城市贫困地区。”

令人欣慰的是,欧洲的水质状况良好。在85%的案例中,洗澡水的质量“优秀”,而74%的地下水体(饮用水的重要来源)具有“良好的化学状态”。

报告说,为了改善欧洲的健康和环境,应推广“绿色和蓝色空间”,因为它们“可在热浪来袭时为城市降温、减轻水患、减少噪音污染并支持城市生物多样性”。

其他建议还包括减少道路交通、减少肉类消耗和取消化石燃料补贴。


Environmental factors such as air pollution and heatwaves exacerbated by climate change contribute to around 13% of all deaths in Europe, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Tuesday.

A total of 630,000 deaths in the European Union’s 27 countries plus Britain were attributable to environmental factors in 2012, the latest year for which data are available, EEA said in a report.

“These deaths are preventable and can be significantly reduced through efforts to improve environmental quality,” it said.

Air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk in Europe, contributing to more than 400,000 premature deaths each year. Prolonged exposure to pollutants can cause diabetes, lung disease and cancer, and early evidence suggests air pollution may be linked to higher death rates among COVID-19 patients.

Europe’s pollution levels plummeted amid lockdowns imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, but the dip is expected to be temporary and most EU countries are on course to miss their targets to cut air pollutants in the next decade.

EEA said the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the connection between the environment and human health, demonstrating the increased risk of passing diseases from animals to humans as a result of environmental degradation and meat production.

“COVID-19 has been yet another wake-up call, making us acutely aware of the relationship between our ecosystems and our health,” EU health chief Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.

The European Commission has proposed EU targets to make agriculture more sustainable, by ringfencing natural habitats and curbing pesticide use, although farming groups have warned the goals could curb crop yields.

EEA said drinking water quality is consistently high across the EU, but it raised the alarm over the release of antibiotics through waste water treatment plants, which can spread antimicrobial resistance. Infections from drug-resistant bacteria cause roughly 25,000 deaths in the EU each year.


Source: Zaobao / Reuters

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