Certain environmental factors, such as exposure to pollutants through water, food or air, are important determinants of health. For example, it has been estimated that up to one sixth of all child fatalities and disease can be attributed to environmental factors. Individuals can make certain choices that affect their lifestyle and health on their own, but they also rely on public authorities for protection from health threats.
The European Union is currently implementing the EU Environment & Health Action Plan 2004-2010 to respond to this challenge. It aims to provide national governments with the scientifically sound information needed to reduce the adverse health impacts of certain environmental factors.
The EU’s ultimate goal is to fill the knowledge gap by strengthening research and addressing the emerging issues on environment and health, and to make available relevant information to the public.