Air pollution costs European cities more than 160bn euros a year

Air pollution costs inhabitants of European cities more than 160 billion euros ($190 billion) each year due to long- and short-term health impacts, an analysis has found. The research looked at data from more than 400 cities.

An analysis of air quality, health and transport data in more than 400 cities by the CE Delft alliance has that pollution from fossil fuels in 2018 cost the average citizen in Europe 1,250 euros, or about 4 percent of their annual income, according to an article from AFP.

The study looked at more than 12 health factors linked to air pollution in cities in order to quantify the cost of exhaust fumes and factory smoke. It calculated the cost for 130 million citizens at 166 billion euros in 2018, the last year for which full data was available.

London had the highest social cost from pollution in absolute terms, totalling 11.38 billion euros lost welfare, writes AFP.

Most of the costs related to the heightened risk of premature death experienced by urban dwellers.

The authors said that while air pollution in cities came from a number of sources including agriculture, household heating and industry, there was a clear link between increased car use and heightened social cost.

Image credit: David McKelvey via Flickr

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