Air pollution has a long-term negative effect on people's health in general. Roughly 40,000 people die every year from the effects of air pollution in three European countries alone: France, Austria and Switzerland (study reporting in 2002).
A project to measure the impact of air pollution on human health, called PEOPLE (Population Exposure to Air Pollutants in Europe), involves 2000 volunteers being asked to wear a pollution detector for 12 hours on a given day. Starting in Brussels and Lisbon, the project will also involve Bucharest, Budapest, Dublin, Krakow, Ljubljana, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. The results, which include city mapping in various urban settings and pollution levels, will be presented in February 2003. Such information will not only help policy makers take informed decisions about traffic and transport policies, but also help citizens make informed choices on personal and health issues, to limit their exposure.