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HSE public health group calls for uniform EU air quality standards

By David Lynch - 25th Jun 2023

air quality

The HSE’s public health medicine environment and health group (PHMEHG) has called for the introduction of “homogenous ambient air quality monitoring across Europe”.

The call was made in a recent submission by the PHMEHG to the European Commission (EC) regarding a revision of air quality rules and directives.

In its submission, the group said it “strongly” supported the EC review. It said the standards within the EU were heterogeneous and created health inequities. These matters would need to be urgently rectified before full alignment with newly proposed World Health Organisation recommendations on air quality, it added. 

The HSE group recommended that air quality standards should be set according to the greatest health benefits that can be uniformly applied. It also called for “greater education” for the public around impacts of poor air quality. It was “widely accepted” there was a linear relationship between exposures to ambient air pollutants and adverse human health effects. The submission was sent to the EC in March. 

Separately, the HSE informed the Medical Independent the PHMEHG will not be producing an annual report for 2022. 

“There is no report for 2022 as the PHMEHG is transitioning into the new national health protection service,” the spokesperson said, adding that the group’s “reporting functions may change”.

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