ImaginAIR.

What does air pollution mean to you? Has air pollution had an impact on your life? Do you have a story to tell about air quality?

The quality of the air we breathe affects our health and our environment.  Even though the impact of poor air quality in Europe is not always visible, air pollution can damage plants, trigger respiratory diseases and result in a shorter life expectancy for humans. We are all affected by air pollution (from EEA web site).

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is excited to announce its new photo story competition ImaginAIR, giving you a chance to show the impact of air quality and pollution in your part of Europe. Here are the winners.

Entrants were requested to express their story and experiences of air pollution in Europe creatively through a series of three photographs in one of the following categories:

Air and human health: Air pollution is a major environmental risk to human health. Detrimental health impacts can include harm to the respiratory system (including asthma and coughing), harm to the cardiovascular system (including increased risks of heart attacks), harm to the nervous system (including memory and learning impacts), harm to the reproductive system and cancer.

Image © EEA

Image © EEA

Air and nature: Air pollution can damage crops and other vegetation by impairing growth and reducing the ability of plants to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Acidification of soils and freshwater through air pollution can also cause disturbances in the ecosystems with harmful ecological effects, including biodiversity loss and changes in species diversity.

Image © EEA

Image © EEA

Air and cities: Air pollution is typically more concentrated in cities due to the increased density of road transport, commercial activities, households and energy use – all of which contribute significantly to the emission of substances that are damaging to human health and the environment within and outside the city borders.

Image © EEA

Image © EEA

Air and technology: Since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, technological progress has created machines and production lines that have been source of pollution – water, air, soil. But today technology also offers us solutions not only to measure air quality more effectively but also to find innovative ways to reduce the impact of our consumption and production patterns on the environment.

2013_01_14 immagine 04

The winning photos.

Air and human health: BADAIRStella Carbone, Italy.

Foto © Stella Carbone

Foto © Stella Carbone

Air and nature: Ever closing – Stephen Mynhardt, Ireland.

Air and cities: Contamination – Javier Arcenillas, Spain

Air and technologies: Astronauts of the polluted Earth – Dovile Lubyte, Lithuania.

Environmental indicator report 2012, by EEA

Reliable, relevant, targeted and timely environmental information is an essential element in implementing environmental policy and management processes. Such information can come in many formats — with indicators being a long-established approach to distilling detailed information into trends that are robust and easily understandable by a broad audience (from EEA web site).

Nitrogen emissions and threats to biodiversityImage © EEA

Nitrogen emissions and threats to biodiversity
Image © EEA

AIR …

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