A bottleneck for economic growth

The issue of ultra-fine particles almost seemed to be subject to an international cover-up. However, the impact of this invisible air pollution is slowly starting to get the attention it deserves, mainly due to media attention and scientific studies carried out by environmental and health institutes. Socially sensitive topics, such as increasing maximum speed limits, expanding an airport’s aircraft movements or developing major infrastructure projects, are now accompanied by serious discussions regarding air quality and the effects on public health. This is only logical, as fine particles and ultra-fine particles are no longer simply a threat to humans, animals and the environment, but they also pose a threat to economic growth and the activities of businesses and governments alike. Recent World Health Organisation studies state that over 90% of citizens in the European Region are exposed to annual levels of ambient (ultra-)fine particulate matter that are above WHO’s air quality guidelines. This air pollution costs the European economies € 1.45 trillion a year in diseases and deaths, an amount that is nearly equivalent to one tenth of the gross domestic product of the entire European Union! 

European standards are inadequate

As fine particles pose an environmental threat that does not stop at individual borders, the European Union has established international standards for fine particles. These focus primarily on reducing the emission of fine particles at the source, for example by decreasing the number of aircraft movements, using alternative routes for transport and lowering maximum speed limits on highways. However, these European standards are not enough to truly have an impact, as they:

  • are not strict enough to prevent health damage;
  • do not keep pace with global growth in population and technology;
  • do not take into account the much more dangerous ultra-fine particles.

Envinity Group sets a new standard

With the introduction of its new air treatment technology, Envinity Group has made it clear that the existing guidelines for the emission of fine particles are no longer in line with today’s technological standards. Innovative technology makes it possible for governments as well as businesses to shoulder their responsibility and to focus on providing a healthy living environment for society and nature as a whole. This new development has put the global issue of air pollution caused by fine particles squarely back on the political and social agenda.

Check out the benefits

1. ‘Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM)’, Dossier ‘Fijn stof’ Versie 1 © RIVM, Bilthoven, januari 2013. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, The Netherlands. www.rivm.nl | 2. WHO media centre, Fact sheet about “Ambient (outdoor) air quality and health” (on particulate matters), update 2016, World Health Organization. www.who.int | 3. HEI Review Panel on Ultrafine Particles, 2013. Understanding the Health Effects of Ambient Ultrafine Particles. HEI Perspectives 3. Health Effects Institute, Boston, MA. © Health Effects Institute. www.healtheffects.org | 4. ‘Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM)’, Brochure “Ultrafijn stof en gezondheid”, 2013 © RIVM, Composed by National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, in association with Rijkswaterstaat, TNO and ECN. www.rivm.nl | 5. WHO publication “Economic cost of the health impact of air pollution in Europe: Clean air, health and wealth”, 2015, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. www.euro.who.int