Eight per cent of diabetes mellitus can be atributed to NO2 pollution. Photo: Flickr.com / Alden Chadwick CC BY
Serious health impacts from NO2
A study by the German Environment Agency (UBA) estimates that roughly 6,000 premature deaths in 2014 were due to cardiovascular diseases linked to background concentrations of NO2 in both rural and urban areas.
The study also shows that NO2 pollution is associated with diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. For example, eight per cent of the existing cases of diabetes mellitus in Germany in 2014 – about 437,000 cases – were linked to NO2 exposure in outdoor air. For asthma, the percentage of cases which can be traced to NO2 pollution is even higher – around 14 per cent, or about 439,000 cases.
Overall nitrogen dioxide pollution in Germany has been decreasing for a number of years, but data for 2017 corroborates that many locations still exceed threshold levels. “One significant cause of harmful nitrous oxides in respiratory air is undoubtedly diesel cars – also on roads with lighter traffic,” said UBA President Maria Krautzberger.
Source: Umweltbundesamt press release, 9 March 2018. Link: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/press/pressinformation/nitrogen-dioxid...