Information release: New patient information leaflets: Air quality and heart and lung health
Brussels, 18 February 2014 - The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the ESCAPE project have today launched a series of information leaflets aimed at providing individuals, health professionals and heart, lung and asthma patient groups with the latest science-based guidance on how air pollution affects health in Europe, and prevention tips.
According to a recent Eurobarometer poll, Europeans are increasingly concerned about air pollution in their countries and would like to receive more information on how air pollution affects health (1). The leaflets aim to inform on new evidence and provide prevention tips for those whose health is most at risk from air pollution.
New evidence on how air pollution affects cardiovascular and lung health is available from the EU funded research project ESCAPE – European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (2). Involving researchers from over 20 leading research groups on air pollution and health, this collaborative effort has made a significant contribution to research into the effects on health of air pollution over the past few years. With ESCAPE, data from over 30 cohort studies including some 900,000 subjects has been analysed.
The new European evidence underlines that greater policy efforts are needed to tackle air pollution. In 2010 alone, air pollution was responsible for 400,000 premature deaths in Europe, with health costs of up to 940 billion EUR (3). Exposure to air pollution is responsible for 10 times more premature deaths than traffic accidents.
HEAL hopes the leaflets will help to raise awareness with asthma, heart and other patients, as well as health and medical groups on what they can do for preventing disease, and empower them to become more involved in communicating what needs to be done by decision-makers, as the EU will be debating measures to curb air pollution in the next months.
The leaflets are the following:
Air pollution and lung health – for patients with lung disease
Latest evidence on the links between outdoor air pollution and lung disease: chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and adult asthma. It also provides prevention tips for patients to achieve a healthier future.
Air pollution and health – for patients with cardiovascular disease
Latest evidence on the links between outdoor air pollution and cardiovascular disease. It also provides tips on what individuals can do to reduce pollution levels.
Air pollution and health – for individuals and families concerned about lung cancer
Latest evidence on the links between outdoor air pollution and lung cancer, information on how air pollution affects the lungs, and tips on cancer prevention.
Air pollution and health – for parents of children with asthma and allergies
Latest evidence on the links between outdoor air pollution and children’s health. It also provides prevention tips for parents of children with asthma and allergies, who are especially vulnerable to exposure to polluted air. (4)
(1) Flash Eurobarometer 360: Attitudes of Europeans towards air quality: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_360_en.pdf
(2) ESCAPE project website www.escapeproject.eu
(3) See European Commission: Clean Air Policy Package: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/clean_air_policy.htm
(4) All the air pollution and health information leaflets are available from the HEAL website here http://www.env-health.org/resources/publications/
ESCAPE – European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects – investigated the long-term effects of air pollution on a broad range of chronic conditions – asthma; allergies in children; adult respiratory and cardiovascular disease ; cancer – and life expectancy. Funded by the EU, the project brought together over 20 leading research groups on air pollution and health from 15 countries to analyse over 30 cohort studies including some 900,000 subjects. Cohort studies follow a population over time and ESCAPE focused on how different levels of exposure to air pollution affect people’s health. www.escapeproject.eu
Originally posted on 18 February 2014