Smog, EU agreement on new limits: more than halved for fine particles

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Smog continues to kill 330,000 people a year Europe. And, while the alarm remains high in Italy, the EU institutions respond by relaunching action on the Green Deal with stricter rules against air pollution.

After a final round of negotiations in Brussels characterized by a “collaborative” spirit, the governments of the Twenty-seven and the European Parliament reached agreement on the new directive which introduces some important innovations: a firm clampdown on the levels of the most harmful pollutants – the fine particles PM2.5, PM10 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) above all – and the right to compensation for citizens.

Presented for the first time in October 2022, the measures developed by Ursula von der Leyen’s team in the ‘Zero Pollution’ package establish stricter limits for 2030 for several pollutants, including particulate matter (PM2.5, PM10) , nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).

The new limits

For the two pollutants with the greatest documented impact on human health, namely PM2.5 and NO2 particles, the annual limit values ​​will have to be more than halved, going from the current 25 to 10 micrograms per cubic meter and from 40 to 20 respectively. micrograms per cubic meter, in an attempt to reduce the number of premature deaths caused by fine particles by at least 55%.

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