Beijing Implements EU IV Emissions Standards Ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games Photograph: (Reuters)
Germany and France among the ten countries that have persistently breached emission ceilings since 2010
Air pollution from sources such as transport and agriculture is still above legal limits in 10 European Union member states, data from the European Environment Agency (EEA) revealed.
Since 2010, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg have persistently breached their emissions ceilings for nitrogen oxides. Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg have exceeded their limits for non-methane volatile organic compounds and Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain have exceeded limits for ammonia, the EEA said.
In 2014, 10 member states reported emissions data for these pollutants which were the above the ceiling for at least one.
Nitrogen oxides are produced by exhaust fumes from road transport, while ammonia derives from the use of fertilisers and the handling of animal manure. Nitrogen dioxide is a harmful component of nitrogen oxides, causing respiratory problems and cardiovascular disease.