Industrial Air Pollution Cost Europe up to €169 Billion in 2009, EEA Reveals

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Smog in Moscow, Russia.

The 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe allegedly cost citizens between €102 and €169 billion in 2009. This came from a 2011 report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) of the analysis of the effects of industrial pollution on human health and the environment, and particularly the financial cost of managing those effects. The financial cost of air pollution and global warming, unfortunately, are not usually reported, or even discussed, by mainstream news stations.

Half of the financial cost was incurred by only 191 of the facilities, and it is an estimated €51 to €85 billion. The report is titled, “Revealing the costs of air pollution from industrial facilities in Europe.” Here is a list, from the report, of the facilities that caused the most harm.

“Our analysis reveals the high cost caused by pollution from power stations and other large industrial plants,” Professor Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director, said.

“The estimated costs are calculated using the emissions reported by the facilities themselves. By using existing tools employed by policy-makers to estimate harm to health and the environment, we revealed some of the hidden costs of pollution. We cannot afford to ignore these issues,” added Professor McGlade.

The facilities studied include large power plants, refineries, manufacturing combustion and industrial processes, waste, and some agricultural activities.

The environmental damage caused by the facilities cost each citizen €200-330, and 3/4 of the costs were incurred by only 622 of the industrial facilities, which is only 6.2% of the 10,000 studied. CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions contributed the most to the costs incurred.

Pollutants such as SO2 (sulfur dioxide), NOx (nitrogen oxides), and ammonia, which contribute to respiratory problems, factored into the study as well and were claimed to incur a cost of €38-105 billion annually.

h/t PRNewswire | Photo Credit: Yuri Virovets

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Nicholas Brown

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