Director of Health, Environment, and Policy, Kevin Cromar, and Research Associate Noussair Lazrak authored the World Health Organization (WHO) report, Risk Communication of Ambient Air Pollution in the WHO European Region: Review of Air Quality Indexes and Lessons Learned, which reviews air-quality indexes used in countries in the WHO European Region and recommends improvements to risk communication on air pollution:
The key findings are as follows.
- There is tremendous variation in how air quality risks are reported to the general public across the WHO European Region.
- Most Member States of the Region use a country-specific index instead of the European Air Quality Index (EAQI).
- There is a critical need to validate air quality indexes using local health data to ensure that index values effectively reflect health risks.
- Risk communication approaches need to be flexible enough to account for differences in air pollution mixtures, baseline concentrations, cultural differences with regards to outdoor activities, and health risk preferences.
This report makes specific recommendations for risk communication in the European region and serves as the intellectual foundation for current applied-research projects in other regions.