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Only seven countries meet WHO's air quality recommendations

Only seven countries meet WHO's air quality recommendations

March 19, 2024 – 07:41

Of 134 countries and territories, only seven – Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius and New Zealand – comply with international air quality recommendations, according to Swiss air quality organization IQAir. Dangerous levels of air pollution are primarily due to increased economic activities and forest fires guardian.

The most polluted country is Pakistan, where the PM2.5 level tested is 14 times WHO standards, but the situation is also serious in India, Tajikistan and Burkina Faso. However, satisfactory values ​​were not measured in rich and fast-developing countries either: Canada, long considered the country with the cleanest air in the Western world, showed poor values ​​as well, thanks to record-breaking wildfires in the region. . China's air quality began to improve in recent years, but after the economy shifted to a higher pace after the Covid epidemic, the PM2.5 level rose again by 6.5 percent.

PM2.5, often referred to as particulate matter, consists of microscopic solid or liquid particles that are released directly into the air or are formed from pollutants that collect in the atmosphere. In 2021, the World Health Organization set its guidelines for a safe level of PM2.5 at five micrograms/cubic metre. Most European countries do not reach this level. Air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people worldwide every year, more than AIDS and malaria combined.

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