Right to healthy air

Environmental law charity ClientEarth is working with EQUAL Partners to explore a possible legal action against the Belgian authorities for failing to ensure everyone living in Belgium can breathe safer and cleaner air.

Express your interest

Air pollution & health problems

We all know that the air we breathe is important – but it’s not always safe. Air pollution is the main environmental risk factor for human health in Europe and has been associated with a huge range of health issues. In Belgium, air pollution was responsible for almost 8,700 premature deaths in 2018 alone.

We are all affected by toxic air, but some – especially children, older people, and people on low incomes or from ethnic minorities – are more vulnerable or affected than others. This is not fair – and we are taking action to fight back.

Our aim is to start a legal action to demand that the Belgian authorities take immediate action to protect human health by aligning levels of particulate matter (PM2.5 – the fine dust that clouds the air) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 – an invisible and toxic gas associated with vehicle emissions) as much as possible with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s new air quality guidelines.

The WHO – the leading experts on public health issues, including polluted air – recently issued new air quality guidelines that drastically lower the safe levels of various pollutants including PM2.5 and NO2. These guidelines reflect the best available science on the threat air pollution poses to human health and should be used by governments to protect citizens’ health and life. But this is currently not the case in Belgium and in other countries across Europe.

If you or your loved ones have experienced irritated airways, feeling out of breath, wheezing, coughing, high blood pressure, chest discomfort or other symptoms, it could be linked to air pollution.

In fact, air pollution has been associated with a huge range of health issues, including:

  • Asthma
  • Acute lower respiratory infections in children (bronchiolitis, bronchitis, pneumonia)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for example chronic bronchitis
  • Lung Cancers
  • Heart attacks and heart failures
  • Strokes

If you have suffered from any of the health problems listed above – or have otherwise been impacted by air pollution – please come forward and express your interest by filling in the form below.


Questions for individuals

Please complete the form below to provide vital information and express your initial interest in taking action. All the information is protected in line with GDPR rules.

Answering the following questions does not commit you to anything, you are simply expressing your interest. At this stage we are simply looking at who might be eligible to help us bring a potential case. You will not need to pay anything at any stage of the process.

Personal data

Are you registering your own interest, or registering on behalf of your child? (i.e. you are a parent/guardian)*

Health issues

Have you been diagnosed with any medical condition that could be linked to or worsened by air pollution? (Asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including chronic bronchitis, Acute lower respiratory infections in children (bronchiolitis, bronchitis, pneumonia), Heart attacks and heart failures, strokes, lung cancer).*

Do you have any medical certificates confirming this diagnosis?*

Are you taking medication because of this health condition?*

Do you have more questions? Take a look at our FAQ document, which contains further information about the case and the process.

Data protection and privacy

At the stage of this first step, no document intended to prove the information provided is requested by Equal Partners or ClientEarth AISBL – below "the joint controllers".

The data collected is retained until the joint controllers make a decision as to the data subjects likely to participate in the potential legal action.

Personal data concerning data subjects who are not retained for the second step are deleted.

The data subjects may withdraw the consent they would give through this form at any time. As soon as the data subject withdraws consent, the joint controllers refrain from any further processing.

In accordance with Articles 12 to 23 of the GDPR, data subjects may, at any time, exercise the following rights:

  • The right of access to the data collected;
  • The right to correct any incorrect data;
  • The right to erasure of data;
  • The right to restriction of processing, to the extent provided for by Article 18, §1, c) of the GDPR.

The data collected is stored through spreadsheets stored on a secure server, protected by a password and accessible only by the members of the joint controllers.

During the examination preparatory to selection, carried out by the joint controllers, the spreadsheets are processed so as not to reveal all the data relating to a specific natural person.

Any exercise of the rights referred to above may be made by email to the following addresses:

View the GDPR policy adopted by joint controllers


ClientEarth and Equal Partners are working in partnership with: