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Danish air quality continues to improve

A new report shows a continued improvement of the air quality in Danish cities. An estimated 400 fewer people died premature deaths related to air pollution in 2017 compared to the previous year according to a study done by scientists from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy.

2019.03.14 | Kristian Laulund

An improvement in air quality has resulted in about 400 fewer premature deaths in 2017 compared to 2016. This decrease is amongst other reasons due to a general reduction in Danish emissions. (Photo: Colourbox)

The Danish Air Quality Monitoring Program consists of continuous measurements at eleven monitoring stations; nine stations situated in the four largest cities, two stations located in background areas and a station in a suburban area. The program is carried out by the DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy at Aarhus University. The measurements taken are supplemented with model calculations using DCE’s air quality models.

The aim of the program is to monitor air pollutants relevant to human health in accordance with the EU air quality directives. The program includes measurements of Sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx/NO2), particulate mass less than 10 (PM10) and 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), particle number, benzene (C6H6), toluene (C7H8), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a number of heavy metals and a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are precursors for formation of O3.

The measurements and model calculations are used to evaluate the Danish air quality in relation to limit values as well as to follow trends. The obtained data are used for determination of sources of the air pollutants, basis for evaluation of the impact of regulations of emissions and as a basis for various research projects related to air quality.

Model calculations show that air pollution causes about 3,200 premature deaths in Denmark as average for 2014-2017 and a large number of other negative health effects. There are about 400 fewer premature deaths in 2017 compared to 2016. This decrease is due to a general reduction in emissions and extraordinary low peak O3 concentrations in 2017 due to the weather conditions during summer 2017. About 770 (24 %) of the premature deaths are due to Danish emission sources while the remaining premature deaths are caused mostly by European sources outside Denmark.

The total health-related external costs for Denmark have been calculated to 3.3 billion EUR (~25 billion DKK) as an average over the three years 2014-2017. The negative health effects and external costs have declined by about 40% since 1988-1990.

Actual data, annual and multi-annual summaries are available at the website of DCE (http://dce.au.dk/en/authorities/air/)

 

Read the full report here

For further information contact Thomas Ellermann

Mail: tel@envs.au.dk

Telephone: +4587158526

DCE, Public / media