Funchal is in third place among European cities with the cleanest air, according to a ranking released today by the European Environment Agency (AEA).
That entity today launched the European urban air quality viewer. With this viewer, citizens can see the air quality of the last two years in the city they live in and compare it with other cities in Europe. According to this indicator, between 2019 and 2020, the three cleanest cities in Europe in terms of air quality were Umeå, in Sweden, Tampere, in Finland, and Funchal, in Portugal. The three most polluted were Nowy Sacz in Poland, Cremona in Italy and Slavonski Brod in Croatia. Of the 323 cities included in the viewer, 127 are rated as having good air quality, meaning the level of pollution falls below the guideline for prolonged exposure to PM2.5 of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air (10 μg/m3) , established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The European Union has set the annual limit value of 25 μg/m3 for PM2.5 as part of policies aimed at providing clean air in Europe. The viewer rates the long-term air quality as very poor if the PM2.5 levels are greater than or equal to this threshold value, with five cities in Poland, Croatia and Italy included in this category. Fine particles are the air pollutant with the greatest impact on health and can cause premature death and illness. The viewer provides information about the long-term air quality in each city. Prolonged exposure to PM2.5 causes cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Despite the marked improvement in air quality in Europe over the past decade, the EEA’s most recent annual air quality assessment concluded that in 2018, exposure to fine particles caused around 417,000 premature deaths in 41 countries. Europeans. “Although air quality has improved significantly in recent years, air pollution remains persistently high in many European cities. This urban air quality viewer allows citizens to easily consult the situation of their city in terms of atmospheric pollution, compared to others. The viewer provides concrete and local information that can empower citizens to urge local authorities to address these issues.