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Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Diseases

03 Jul 2017

In July 2017 EHN published a paper on Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Diseases.  The aim of this paper is to provide information about the impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health; when we refer to air pollution, this is outdoor air pollution unless otherwise indicated.  The paper presents recommendations to policy makers for action to reduce exposure to this risk factor.

EHN recommendations:

•  Clean air needs to be promoted and incentivised across all policy areas, including in the area of urban planning.  It also needs to be part of the framework of a comprehensive EU strategy for the prevention and control of chronic diseases.

•  EU must bring forward robust legislation tackling ambient air concentrations to protect health, cut healthcare costs and save lives; to that end EU should revise the ambient air quality directive and adopt the WHO Air Quality Guideline values as Limit Values.

•  EU Member States must fulfil their obligations and ensure compliance with EU legislation; they should drastically increase their efforts to achieve better national emission targets, including pricing, investments, and regulatory measures; and perform a health impact assessment for new policy developments, in particular for urban planning.

EHN members material

The paper does not provide information for cardiovascular patients on how to protect themselves from exposure.  Many of our member organisations do provide such information and we refer readers to their websites.

British Heart Foundation: Policy statement on air pollutionInformation sheet on air pollution

Danish Heart Foundation: Several articles on air pollution

Dutch Heart Foundation: Effects of fine particles on health

German Heart Foundation: Air pollution endangers the heart

Italy – SIPREC: Air pollution and cardiovascular disease

Spanish Heart Foundaton: Air pollution, ennemy of the heart