Italian cities have the most estimated premature deaths due to air pollution

According to a study published by The Lancet Planetary Health, Italian cities rank highly in the number of estimated premature deaths attributed to air pollution.

As reported by Greenpeace, the study estimates locally the number of premature deaths because of air pollution in over a thousand cities across Europe. They examined the two main pollutants – fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – and ranked cities based on the population and death rate of each city.

Brescia and Bergamo ranked highest for premature deaths linked to PM2.5 pollution, while Vicenza and Saronno also featured in the top 10.

The results matched Greenpeace Italy’s own joint study with ISPRA, which showed that heating and intensive farming were responsible for over 54% of PM2.5 in the country. The Po Basin, where Brescia and Bergamo are located, also has high mortality rates from COVID-19, which can be linked to continuous exposure to fine particles which makes people more vulnerable to the virus.

Meanwhile, the two highest ranked Italian cities for NO2 pollution were Turin (third) and Milan (fifth). The transport industry is responsible for impacting air quality and producing around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Italy.

Federico Spadini, of Greenpeace Italy says, “To really put an end to the air pollution crisis and together with the climate emergency, we must act immediately to change the transport sector, focusing on the abandonment of fossil fuels and on sustainable, electric and shared mobility, starting from the cities.”

“For this reason, we are concerned about the fact that urban mobility is largely neglected in the draft Recovery Plan sent to Parliament. We ask the government to review the proposals and the figures allocated to ensure sustainable mobility.”

We can all do our bit to cut air pollution

While Italy ranks highly in this study, we need to remember that air pollution remains high across the whole of Europe. The report recommends that a considerable amount of premature deaths in European cities could be avoided each year by lowering air pollution concentrations below World Health Organisation guidelines.

At EGO, we understand that our health is impacted by the surrounding environment. While heating and intensive farming have a massive impact, our own power generation and use of combustion engines are contributing to this same pollution.

Garden tools such as lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers all use petrol engines which pollute the air. That is why we develop our market-leading battery technology and garden tools, which deliver petrol-matching performance, but with zero emissions.

To demonstrate our commitment to leaving petrol behind and highlighting the dangers of using petrol-powered tools, we recently published The Report that showed that 60% of people think pollution could be reduced if everybody switched to electric garden power tools.

Discover more about our work by downloading The Report here:

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