LEZ stands for "Low Emission Zone". The term is used to designate a situation where polluting vehicles are not allowed to drive in a given city, or areas of that city. It is one of the measures taken in numerous European cities to improve air quality and consequently public health.
These pollutants are the cause of an increase in respiratory problems and disorders, lining of the eyes and nose, a decrease in respiratory capacity, coughing, bronchitis, and infections. The elderly, children and people who are sick or weak are the most vulnerable. Moreover, the results of several recent studies suggest that the number of hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases is associated with higher concentrations of various pollutants in the air (dust, ozone, etc.).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has indicated that pollutant emissions coming from engines are responsible for 75,000 premature deaths in Europe every year.
Several studies by the World Health Organisation, as well as various actions of the European Commission, have highlighted the poor air quality in Brussels and its subsequent impact on public health. Moreover, air pollution increases the risk of strokes, heart disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory disorders, in particular asthma. In Belgium, 12,000 premature deaths have already been attributed to poor air quality.
By prohibiting access to the city for the most polluting vehicles, we can contribute towards better air quality for everyone. Conditions for access will gradually be tightened in the coming years, so that all residents and our children can breathe easily once again.