38% of the Romanian respondents participating in a Eurobarometer are of the opinion that in the last ten years the quality of the air has deteriorated.

According to an EC press release, the Eurobarometer was conducted between 21 March and 20 April 2022. Around 26,509 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed in their mother tongue on behalf of the European Commission.

The majority of Romanians consider that respiratory diseases (85% vs 89% EU average), asthma (84% vs 88% EU average) and cardiovascular diseases are serious problems in their country, caused by air pollution (88% vs 83% EU average). Romanians are also concerned about environmental problems caused by air pollution in water bodies, such as acidification and eutrophication (71% vs 83% EU average) Acidification (increasing the degree of acidity of water) and eutrophication (the presence of an amount excessive nutrients in the water, leading to algal blooms that suffocate other organisms) are among the main consequences of deteriorating water quality.

38% of Romanians think that, in the last ten years, the air quality has deteriorated

“38% of Romanian respondents (47% EU average) are of the opinion that in the last ten years air quality has deteriorated”, says the EC.

According to the Eurobarometer, citizens lack information on air quality issues in their country. Many Romanians are still poorly informed about the existing EU air quality standards, as only a small part of respondents (26% vs 27% EU average) have heard of them. However, 55% of those who know EU air quality standards say they should be strengthened (vs 67% European average). This is true in all but five of the Member States.

50% of Romanian respondents believe that air pollution should be addressed at the national level, then at the international level (39%), regional and local (31%) and, finally, at the EU level (30%). 9% of Romanian respondents also believe that actions should be taken simultaneously at all levels.

Most Europeans believe that large industrial plants, fossil fuel energy producers, public authorities and employers are not doing enough to promote air quality.

“People tell us they want to breathe clean air”

Most also believe that the household sector is making sufficient efforts in this regard. Respondents are more likely to have taken some action to reduce emissions themselves this year than they were in 2019. Using public transport, cycling or walking are the methods most Europeans use to reduce harmful emissions in the air.

“People tell us they want to breathe clean air. Those who live in cities, those who suffer from asthma and those who live near industrial facilities are all concerned and are asking us to take action. The Commission will lead the way with an ambitious proposal to strengthen EU air quality standards,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

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