How will the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) impact air quality?
Protecting the health of residents and visitors and maintaining a healthy, high-quality environment are priorities for the Brussels-Capital Region.
This is why the Brussels Region became a Low Emission Zone on 1 January 2018. Since then, the most polluting vehicles cannot access it. The timetable provides for a gradual phase-out of diesel cars from 2030, and petrol vehicles from 2035. For other categories of vehicle (vans, minibuses, buses, coaches, HGVs, motorized two-wheelers), there is a specific timetable depending on their category.
Since its creation, the LEZ has contributed to:
- Significantly reducing emissions of air pollutants from road transport (nitrogen dioxide, microparticles and black carbon) which are the most harmful to health.
- Reducing the number of the most polluting (diesel) vehicles in the region.
- Maintaining NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide) concentrations in the air below the annual legal limit (40 μg/m³) in the region.
For more details on the tangible benefits of the LEZ, consult the 2021 evaluation report
Would you like more information on the expected effects of the LEZ? Read the study carried out at the launch of the LEZ
The LEZ, an asset for our health
By contributing to the improvement of air quality, the LEZ has become an ally for the health of Brussels residents. Various studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) have highlighted the significant health impacts of poor air quality. The most common consequences are:
- respiratory disorders and conditions (including asthma);
- eye and nasal irritation;
- coughing and bronchitis;
- cardiovascular disease;
The risk of stroke, heart disease and lung cancer also rises sharply, particularly among the elderly, young children and sick people. In Belgium, air pollution (particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone) caused 5530 premature deaths in 2020, according to the European Environment Agency.
Thanks to the LEZ, however, significant benefits are expected for the health of Brussels residents from 2030:
- gradual reduction in premature deaths
- a reduction in illnesses linked to exposure to atmospheric pollutants
- lower healthcare costs
By contributing to better air quality, in particular through the implementation of the LEZ and other mobility-related policies, the Brussels-Capital Region is asserting its determination to protect the health of its citizens and of visitors to Brussels.