A study carried out by the Sociedad Española de Neumología y Cirugía Torácica (Separ) found that air pollution in the country is responsible for 10,000 deaths per year, substantially higher than the rate for traffic accidents which sits at 1,700 per year.
As the world celebrates World environment day, the World Health Organisation gives figures of over seven million deaths worldwide per year from air pollution making it the fourth most prolific killer, just behind tobacco smoke.
The main sources of pollution across Europe are transport and industrial plants, in Spain the former being the cause of 32.5% of all airborne pollution.
The president of SEPAR, Dr. Carlos A. Jimenez, said that “The data shows that from the entire community of pulmonologists we must insist that the competent authorities approve measures to improve air quality, since breathing clean air is a right of all. With this data and with the information that we have, we have to warn that being exposed to a much polluted air is comparable to smoking”.