A STUDY on air pollution recently published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that nine out of 10 Europeans are breathing bad air, with Slovakia having some of the most polluted air among EU countries, the Sme daily reported on its website.
Europeans are exposed to small particles and dust, but also to excessive concentrations of ozone in the air they breathe.
Microparticles, mainly PM10 particles with a perimeter of 10 micrometres (including dust or pollen), are chief among Slovakia’s air pollution problems, Sme wrote, citing a recent study published in the Lancet journal, which shows that this form of pollution can have a negative impact on newborns.
The microparticles cause slower foetal development in the womb, which results in a lower birth weight, according to the study.
“The annual limit value was most often exceeded in Poland, Italy, Slovakia, the Balkan region, Turkey and also several urban regions,” the EEA study reads about the data from 2011.
Regarding both PM10 and PM2.5 airborne particles, Slovakia’s air quality was the third worst in Europe in 2011, Sme wrote.
The situation regarding ozone pollution is similar.