Dutch air quality breaks EU standards in some cities

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The air quality in parts of Amsterdam, Maastricht and Rotterdam breaks EU standards, exposing the population to dangerous levels of pollution, environmental group Milieudefensie said on Tuesday.

The Netherlands has been required to meet EU rules on the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere since January 2015 but fails to do this in at least 11 places, Milieudefensie said.

‘This is extremely damaging because the European standards themselves are too weak to really protect health,’ campaigner Anne Knol told Radio 1 news.




The Stadhouderskade and Valkenburgerstraat in Amsterdam, Parallelweg in Maastricht and Coolsingel in Rotterdam are among the places where NO2 exceeds the 40 microgram level.

In Utrecht, the Milieudefensie tests found no breaches of the EU limit. Utrecht introduced a city centre ban for old diesel cars last January.

Air pollution is the third biggest cause of death in the Netherlands, following smoking and obesity, Knol said.