Air quality

Each year, 500,000 Europeans die prematurely from air pollution
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Air pollution has many severe effects on human health and the environment. Each year millions suffer from poor health as a result of bad air quality, both indoors and outdoors. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

News on our policy work

Putting science on air pollution and health into practice – health sector mobilisation on coal issue
HEAL participated in a unique conference organized by the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), which saw both academics and experts from the field discussing in-depth the future of environmental health after the Paris Agreement. Read more…

HEAL in Germany: How the German climate plan can benefit health
The German government has adopted a climate action plan which details reduction targets for six sectors until 2030 as well as economy-wide reduction targets until 2030, 2040 and 2050. Transforming the energy, transport and buildings sectors to meet their respective targets is destined to bring significant improvements in air quality over the next decades, thus benefiting public health. Read more…

COP22, Turkey’s Air Pollution Problem and Energy Policies
The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) attended COP22, the 22th Conference of Parties, in Marrakesh between 7 - 18 November. Joining the HEAL delegation from Turkey were Dr. Kayihan Pala, from Uludag University and Funda Gacal, from HEAL Turkey, who were able to give essential input and feedback on all major developments during COP22 from a Turkish perspective. Read more…

HEAL Poland raising University students’ awareness on health impacts of burning coal
During a two-day event organized by the Association of Students of European Technical Universities on the topic of energy sources and their development, HEAL Poland gave a speech and led a workshop on health and climate consequences of burning coal. Read more…

Read more here

Take action!

- Clearing the air: Support Client Earth’s Europe-wide campaign on air pollution

- Climate change calls to action


- HEAL’s Healthy Energy Position paper

- HEAL Activity Report 2015

- - HEAL supports urgent call for signatories: Health for 55% of the world’s population

- Europe’s Dark Cloud : How coal-burning countries are making their neighbours sick (Joint report by HEAL, CAN E, WWF Europe and Sandbag)

- HEAL webinar: Climate change through a health lens in Serbia (Serbian)

- Open letters to EU Commission VP Sefcovic and EU Commissioner for Climate Action Canete

- Youtube video: Health professionals in action for Healthy Energy and Climate, 4 December 2015

- Why health concerns should prompt an ambitious Paris package, Outreach magazine, 7 December 2015

- Coal Atlas by Heinrich Boll Stiftung and Friends of the Earth International includes HEAL figures

- Healthy Energy Initiative - Health Impacts of Energy Choices - A Briefing Paper for the Health Community

- Healthy Energy Initiative - From Extraction to Renewal: A Global Campaign for Healthy Energy

- HEAL Webinar series COP21 – Recordings

Related HEAL/EFA websites

- Know your air for health website: English - German - Italian

- HEAL and EU ESCAPE patient information leaflets: Air quality and heart and lung health




- 12 - 15, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary

- 14: CHE call: Acetaminophen and Phthalates: Anti-androgenic Action and Altered Development



- 17 - 18, Brussels, Belgium: International workshop related to the EU Commission study on ’The cumulative health and environment benefits of chemicals legislation’

- 16 - 19, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary

HEAL’s Healthy Energy Position Paper outlines HEAL’s recommendations for a healthy energy future in Europe.

More information here

Europe’s Dark Cloud: How coal-burning countries are making their neighbours sick analyses for the first time how the harmful dust caused by coal plants travels across borders and the effect this has. It reveals that in 2013 emissions were responsible for over 22,900 premature deaths, tens of thousands of cases of ill-health from heart disease to bronchitis, and up to EUR 62.3 billion in health costs. testimonies

More information here

The Unpaid Health Bill: How coal power plants make us sick presents the first-ever economic assessment of the health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in Europe as well as testimonies from leading health advocates, medical experts and policy makers on why they are concerned about coal.

The report develops recommendations for policy-makers and the health community on how to address the unpaid health bill and ensure that it is taken into account in future energy decisions.

For a brief summary of the report see HEAL’s coal and health postcard

More information here

Learn more about HEAL’s views and policy work on Air quality

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Diana Smith

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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