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One-fifth of deaths in Romania linked to pollution

According to a report out of the European Environment Agency (EEA), 19 percent of the deaths registered in Romania can be associated with pollution, the highest rate in the European Union, Romanian news portal Biziday.ro wrote. The EU report stressed that there are clear differences between Eastern and Western Europe, and it also revealed that at least one in eight deaths is a result of poor-quality environments.

The lowest share of deaths due to environmental conditions was recorded in Sweden and Denmark, where only one out of ten deaths is related to pollution, the report says.

The EEA also listed the most serious polluting factors: air, noise, chemical pollution, climate change, indoor heating and various forms of radiation. According to the report, several people suffer from lung, cardiovascular or vascular diseases due to heating, which may also cause asthma. However, the most common disease caused by pollution is cancer.

According to the report, in approximately 10 percent of European cities, including in Romania, more than 20 percent of the inhabitants do no live near green areas. On the other hand, in 25 percent of the examined cities, including Glasgow, Madrid, Prague, Stockholm, Torino and Vienna, 98 percent of the urban population had green areas within walking distance.

Photo: WHO/EEA

The European Environment Agency also notes that noise pollution varies depending on local factors. So, in Croatia, Poland, Greece and Romania, people at risk of poverty were less likely to be affected by noise from their neighbors or noise from the street, as a high percentage of them live in rural areas. In contrast, in countries where poverty is more concentrated in cities, such as Belgium, Germany and France, those at risk of poverty are more affected by this type of pollution.

The report also stressed that in Romania, Roma are more exposed to pollution risks, noting that 68 percent of them are not connected to drinking water and sewage networks. This percentage is twice as high as in Croatia (34 percent of Roma live in a household with no tap water) or Hungary (33 percent).

Title image: Chemical plant near Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș. The highest environmental contribution to mortality is seen in Romania. Photo: Székelyhon/Boda L. Gergely

Author: Orsi Sarány