The European Environment Agency makes the link between healthy environment and healthy life. The key message: improving the quality of the environment improves the health and well-being of individuals.
Quality water, a vector of good health
Water pollution poses a threat to health. The exposure can be direct: drinking water, bathing water. Or indirect: consumption of contaminated fish.
In Europe, the quality of these waters is generally satisfactory.
- Drinking water
Europe has high rates of regulatory compliance. The good news is that poor drinking water can lead to bowel disease.
- Bathing waters
96% of the sites analyzed on the continent meet the minimum standards. 85% of them are of excellent quality. Contamination of these waters can affect human health by causing intestinal and even respiratory pathologies. Another possible effect: the proliferation of toxic cyanobacteria (blue algae).
The state of groundwater bodies is generally good: 74% of them have a good chemical state.
The bad points
Despite everything, the Agency highlights certain elements for improvement:
- Drinking water monitoring.
We must look for more polluting substances: pharmaceuticals, chemicals from sunscreens, etc. A revision of the European directive on drinking water should come into force before the end of 2020. Its objective: to strengthen quality standards.
- Surface water bodies.
Their quality is not satisfactory: 40% are in good ecological condition and 38% in good chemical condition.