According to an advisory body of the federal government, environmental crises are an increasing threat to the health of citizens. According to a special report published by the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), around 15 percent of deaths in Europe can be attributed to environmental risk factors. The pollution of the air with pollutants, especially fine dust, is of particular importance for health.

“Particulate matter contributes to respiratory diseases and can also affect other organs and organ systems such as the cardiovascular system,” write the experts. “Particular attention is paid to the smallest particles, the ultra-fine dust. This can penetrate particularly deeply into the human body and cause various negative effects on health.” So far there has been no separate limit value for ultra-fine dust. The biggest causes of this fine dust pollution are traffic and combustion processes in industry and households.

According to the advisory board, socially disadvantaged people are particularly at risk of developing the disease. They are more often than average exposed to noise and air pollutants caused by road traffic. “The municipalities should relieve these districts in a targeted manner,” said council member Wolfgang Köck. “Health-related environmental protection in urban planning requires more active participation by health authorities and greater public participation, as well as financial support from the federal and state governments.”