Pan-European poll: action needed on air pollution

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More than 300,000 deaths across the European Union each year are caused by a source of pollution that is not well-known to citizens: pollution from fine particulate matter.

In June 2022, the OpinionWay polling institute surveyed Europeans in 5 EU Member States (Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Netherlands) to assess public perception of air pollution, and transport-related air pollution in particular. The survey also looked at public expectations for legislation and regulation that would help reduce transport-related air pollution.

The survey, commissioned by Tallano Technologies, found that a vast majority of Europeans are worried about air pollution and the negative impact it has on their personal health and the environment. While most respondents said they feel underinformed about the sources of air pollution, a majority of respondents believe that the transport sector is one of the main sources. Some 75% of are therefore in favour of European, national, regional/local policymakers introducing regulation that helps improve air quality and combats fine particle emissions from road vehicles.

The results of this opinion poll provide a strong and timely mandate to political decision makers in the European Union to take action and regulate road transport pollution. It comes as the European Commission prepares to present a proposal to set new emissions standards for cars, vans, lorries and busses (Post Euro 6/VI) on 12 October.

A majority of Europeans are concerned about air pollution.

Health and ecology are among the main concerns of the Europeans interviewed.
of the Europeans surveyed are concerned about the risks associated with outdoor air quality.

Europeans want lawmakers to take action on air pollution from transport at the European and national level.

Among the most popular actions is a ban of vehicles that have a negative environmental and public health impact due to their emissions of fine particles – some 80% of Europeans respondents were in favour of this.
of the respondents support the introduction of regulations to limit air pollution and combat fine particle emissions from cars and other transport vehicles.

Europeans are particularly worried about the impact of air pollution on their health. They report experiencing or seeing relatives experience the negative health impacts of air pollution directly.

Percentage of respondents who have experienced or have seen relatives experience discomfort or problems related to outdoor air pollution:
In France
In Belgium
In Netherlands

Europeans feel

Europeans surveyed identify transport as the sector most responsible for outdoor air pollution. More than 80% of citizens rank transport and road traffic among the top three reasons for outdoor air pollution. However, only one in two Europeans surveyed feel well informed about the health risks linked to air pollution and fine particle emissions from vehicles.
Respondents that feel uninformed about the health risks linked to air pollution and fine particle emissions from vehicles:
In France
In Netherlands
In Belgium

Europeans are not aware of non-exhaust emissions, a major source of air pollution.

of French respondents recognised non-exhaust emissions as a primary contributor to air pollution, compared to 43% that recognised exhaust fumes.
Air pollution stems from both vehicle exhaust fumes and non-exhaust emissions such as brake & tyre wear particulates. This shows the necessity to increase awareness of the contribution of non-exhaustemissions to transport-related air pollution

Europeans demand action on air pollution from transport. This reinforces the need for an urgent decision at the European Union level: the Post Euro 6/VI standard.

Approximately 80% of particulate emissions from vehicles are currently outside the scope of European regulations. Technological solutions to reduce fine particle emissions, including those engineered here in Europe, are ready to fight against this problem that affects all citizens.
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