Brussels has the eighth highest count of nitrogen dioxide related premature deaths among a thousand European cities, according to a new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).
“Across all cities (…), 9% of the population were exposed to NO2 concentrations above the WHO guideline,” the study said.
Nearly 530 premature deaths could be avoided each year in Brussels if NO2 levels were similar to those in the cleanest European cities, according to non-profit association Les chercheurs d’air.
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“What is even more worrying is that the network that is supposed to monitor air quality in Brussels does not work and underestimates the real pollution in the city,” according to Ugo Taddei, a lawyer with the NGO ClientEarth.
Brussels is not the only Belgian city in the top 10. While Madrid has the highest count, it is followed by Antwerp in second place. The top five is completed by Turin, Paris and Milan. Barcelona and the Spanish city of Mollet del Vallès come ahead of Brussels. The German city of Herne and the French city of Argentueil-Bezons complete the top 10.
The Brussels Times