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Pollution related disease is priority, says Commission.

The increase in diseases related to pollution, such as asthma, is accelerating throughout the European Community and represents a growing socio-economic burden, according to the European Commission. The Commission has now submitted its opinion in a proposal for the European Pa...
The increase in diseases related to pollution, such as asthma, is accelerating throughout the European Community and represents a growing socio-economic burden, according to the European Commission. The Commission has now submitted its opinion in a proposal for the European Parliament and Council Decision to adopt a programme of Community action between 1999 and 2003 on pollution-related diseases in the framework for public health.

The Commission initially adopted the programme for pollution-related diseases on 4 June 1997, with the aim of improving information on, and prevention of, diseases linked to environmental pollutants and increasing the level of knowledge and understanding about perception, assessment and management of risks related to them.

Recently, however, the European Parliament suggested amendments to the Council's common position on this programme (Article 189b (2)(d) of the EC Treaty) in the framework for action in the field of public health over the next five years.

The Commission says that pollution-related diseases can be prevented by improving public knowledge of the factors that play a role in them, or by adapting the affected individual's lifestyle. The proposed action programme is intended to complement environmental policy aiming to minimise pollution at source

The proposed programme would also review relevant information gained form Community research projects to draw on new and existing knowledge of the relationships between pollutants and disease. The published opinion includes a draft for the legislation which identifies the proposed finances allocated for the programme as 3.9 million euro for the period 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001.

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