New air quality maps reveal that air pollution in Brussels has been going undetected.
According to the new data, which was published by the Belgian Interregional Environment Agency, there are illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in all major roads across Brussels.
The maps also show that in 2019, levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exceeded the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations throughout the Brussels region’s territory.
This news comes soon after a court ruled that the Brussels regional government has breached EU law by failing to monitor and protect the health of its citizens against air pollution.
In the ruling, the court made clear that the current monitoring network fails to assess the real levels of air pollution in the city.
The court also confirmed that there are currently no official sampling points along the key roads in the Brussels-Capital Region, in particular along the Petite Ceinture, Rue de la Loi and the E40 between Avenue Reyers and the border with the Flemish Region.
Responding to the data, ClientEarth’s head of clean air Ugo Taddei said: ‘These new findings hammer home what we argued in court with local residents – Brussels residents are not being protected from toxic air because the authorities have not been tracking it properly.
‘The data leaves no doubt that there are illegal levels of pollution throughout Brussels and supports the regional authorities’ recent decision to put in two new monitoring stations – especially along the Petite Ceinture. These new monitoring stations must be installed as soon as possible to ensure harmful levels of pollution no longer go undetected in the capital.
‘The maps should also encourage the Brussels government to do right by their commitment to align air quality standards with the World Health Organization’s guidelines so that people in Brussels can safely breathe clean and healthy air.’