EU updates air pollution limits
Credit: Storm Crypt/Flickr

EU updates air pollution limits, yet falls short of optimal health standards

The European Union has revised its air pollution regulations, setting stricter limits on harmful pollutants, although these new standards still don't meet the World Health Organization's recommended levels.

Ajit Niranjan reports for The Guardian.


In short:

  • The EU has lowered annual limits for PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide, aiming to significantly reduce air pollution's health risks.
  • Despite these changes, the set targets remain double what the WHO advises for safe air quality levels.
  • Loopholes within the legislation may allow member states to postpone compliance with these new standards for up to 10 years.

Key quote:

"Air pollution is still the number one environmental health problem in the EU. The good news is that clean air policy works, and our air quality is improving."

— Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Environment commissioner.

Why this matters:

This update signifies a significant step towards cleaner air in Europe, potentially reducing premature deaths and economic burdens caused by pollution-related health issues. However, ongoing research continues to add to growing evidence that current air pollution laws are inadequate.

New EPA regulations mean a closer eye on the nation’s petrochemical hub

New EPA regulations mean a closer eye on the nation’s petrochemical hub

Houston’s fenceline communities welcome stricter federal rules on chemical plant emissions but worry about state compliance.

HOUSTON – Terri Blackwood, a Baytown resident living along the Houston Ship Channel, knows the smells of pollution well.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less
silica dust regulations
Credit: Jan Truter/Flickr

US enhances mining safety with new silica dust regulations

New protections against hazardous mining dust aim to curb rising cases of severe lung diseases among miners.

Chris Hamby reports for The New York Times.

Keep reading...Show less

Activists call for politicians to sever ties with fossil fuel industries

Activists are urging British MPs to disassociate from the fossil fuel sector in a pivotal election year, pushing for cleaner political practices.

Phoebe Cooke reports for DeSmog.

Keep reading...Show less
global plastics negotiations arctic
Credit: Felton Davis/Flickr

Global plastics negotiations include a focus on Arctic Indigenous peoples' concerns

As world delegates prepare for a crucial U.N. meeting in Canada, Arctic Indigenous communities emphasize the urgent need to address plastic pollution impacting their health and environment.

James Bruggers reports for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less

Interior implements new regulations on offshore drilling insurance

The Biden administration has introduced new regulations to increase insurance bonds for offshore drilling cleanup, targeting companies deemed financial risks by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Heather Richards reports for E&E News.

Keep reading...Show less

California faces its first state intervention on groundwater use

California officials are poised to take unprecedented action against excessive groundwater pumping in Kings County, potentially imposing state control to combat the agricultural practices that threaten local water sustainability.

Rachel Becker reports for CalMatters.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
plastic composting

Bioplastics create a composting conundrum

Biodegradable food packaging is a step in the right direction, experts say, but when composted carries risks of microplastic and chemical contamination.

plastic treaty

Groups push Biden administration to take leadership role at upcoming plastic treaty talks

The US has taken a “middle of the road position” so far, environmental groups say.

chemical recycling Youngstown

Listen: Why communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are fighting chemical recycling plants

EHN reporter Kristina Marusic discusses her new three-part series on the controversies surrounding chemical recycling.

chemical recycling

Latest chemical recycling plant closing spurs concern over the industry’s viability

Oregon’s Regenyx plant announced its closing in late February, with those involved calling it a success, despite never reaching planned capacity and millions of dollars lost.

plastic treaty

Everything you need to know for the fourth round of global plastic pollution treaty talks

Countries will meet this month in Ottawa to move forward on the historic treaty — but obstacles remain.

zero waste business

Zero- and low-waste businesses band together against plastic pollution

As part of a national coalition, sustainable businesses are pooling resources to fight plastic pollution.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.