Air pollution

Only if we measure air pollution , we shall be able to be sure it is not getting worse or is improving. The European Environment Agency has developed an app that gives us fairly accurate measure of several important indicators of air pollution or air quality as they prefer to name the indicators. With the wild fires in Canada and the repercussions of this in U.S. cities we are certainly aware that air pollution by neighbours  is just as important to know as air polllution originating in your own country.
In Europe this matters as well. Therefore the comparative view on air pollution is a necessary precondition to coordinate action within the EU. Specific meteological conditions yield SMOG in winter and too much heat facilitates SMOG in summer. Thousands of people die every year due to effects of air pollution. This is all well-known and documented.
In Science Advances (2023-6-9) new evidence is presented that fine particles (PM 2.5) in air transport influenza H1N1 viruses into the lower respiratory system and even other more distant organs like liver and kidneys. The conclusion is easy: Reduce air pollution much further, this saves lives and lots of costs in the health system as well. Well-being is advanced sometimes by doing less rather than more. Working more in the home office than in the inner city might reduce the peak of an influenza wave. New solutions to old problems are feasible with new technological advances and implementation like fibre-optic cables for fast internet service also in remote areas. Using the “Science Advances” should allow us to rethink our production and consumption model for the improvement of living and working conditions for all. Many extensions of our economic model shall be based on the “beyond growth” logic. We just need to dare to think and implement policies accordingly, rather than to continue to do the same mistakes over and over again. (Image: still building new Autobahn in Berlin 2022 in residential areas).