Bosnia and Herzegovina has the second highest mortality rate (per 100,000 population) from air pollution in the world, after North Korea
The main sources of PM2.5 are the Tuzla Thermal Power Plant which burns over 3.3 million tons of coal annually. The Tuzla Thermal Power Plant is one of the ten largest polluters in Europe: it emits 51,644 tons of sulphur dioxide and 896 tons of PM2.5 annually, making it the largest source of PM2.5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Air pollution is an invisible killer in Tuzla. As doctors working for the health of the population, we need to address and work towards clean air in our community. I am especially worried about the health of our youngest ones, the children. – MD Emir Durić, University Clinical Center Tuzla
In addition to industry that harms the citizens’ health, old cars and domestic furnaces fueled by fossil fuels are also main contributors to air pollution in this region. As in many other cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the streets of Tuzla and Lukavac are dominated by old exhausted diesel vehicles which worsen the quality of the air and are extremely harmful to health.
In 2012 alone, more than 3,500 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina died prematurely due to harmful effects of ambient air pollution on their health. Although the laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina set air quality standards for certain pollutants in the air, these laws are unfortunately poorly applied, meaning the air is often unhealthy.
PhD MD Selma Azabagić, Head of department for hygiene and health ecology – Public Health Institute Tuzla
Join activities for clean air in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Health and medical experts are becoming increasingly concerned about air pollution and the contribution of coal combustion to poor air quality. We have continuously spoken out about the enormous health risks of air quality. As health professionals, we are key in leading the evidence-based actions on clean air for better public health.
We invite health professionals, concerned patients or citizens to join the Unmask My City campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and become involved in policy deliberations for more health-protective air quality standards at national level.
We invite health professionals and local patient organisations to contact us and indicate how you can get actively engaged in the Clean Air debate.