Heavy metals accumulate in ecosystems and damage human health. In line with the EU’s commitments under the Air Convention, specific legislation led to reductions in emissions of heavy metals across Europe from 1990 levels. Between 2005 and 2019, emissions have continued to decline, with lead emissions decreasing by 44%, mercury emissions by 45% and cadmium emissions by 33% across the EU-27 Member States. In 2019, Germany, Italy and Poland contributed most to heavy metal emissions in the EU.

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