S Rita | 03/24/2023 01:00
How healthy is the air in your country or city? Maybe not enough. Swiss air quality technology company IQAir publishes its fifth annual PM rankings of cities, countries and regions around the world2.5of particulate pollution and found that only six countries meet the World Health Organization (WHO) updated safe levels for deadly air pollutants.
“Many people around the world do not know that they are breathing polluted air,” she was quoted as saying. EcoWatch Aidan Farrow, Principal Air Quality Investigator at Greenpeace International, thoughts from the press release presenting the data. Air pollution monitors provide solid data that can inspire communities to demand change and hold polluters accountable, but if monitoring is inconsistent or uneven, vulnerable communities may not have the data to act upon. Everyone deserves to protect their health from air pollution.”
the World Air Quality Report 2022 It used data from more than 30,000 air quality meters in 7,323 cities and 131 countries, regions and territories. Data recorded that PM2.5 Its level was above or below the safe limit lowered by the World Health Organization from 10 micrograms per cubic meter to 5 micrograms (µg/m3) in 2021. It is estimated that exposure to air pollution causes about seven million premature deaths each year.
According to IQAir, the countries with the worst particulate pollution are:
- Chad, 89.7 μg/m3
- Iraq, 80.1 μg/m3
- Pakistan 70.9 μg/m3
- Bahrain, 66.6 µg/m3
- Bangladesh, 65.8 μg/m3
Among the cities, the most polluted in 2022 were next
- Lahore (Pakistan) 97.4 μg/m3
- Khotan, China, 94.3 μg/m3.
- Bhiwadi (India) 92.7 μg/m3
- Delhi (India), 92.6 μg/m3
- Peshawar, Pakistan, 91.8 μg/m3
Overall, eight of the 10 most polluted cities were in central or southern Asia, and a total of 118 countries and territories – or 90 percent of those with sufficient data – exceeded the new WHO health limits.
The six countries with healthy air according to WHO guidelines are Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland and New Zealand. CNN reported that seven territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean joined them.
The data comes about a week after another study found that more than 99% of the world’s population breathes unhealthy air. However, this study also used machine learning to fill in the field observation gaps. IQAir noted that monitoring gaps remain, which is an important environmental sanitation issue, as more than 90 percent of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. For example, even though surveillance in Africa increased by seven countries from 2021 to 2022, this still meant that only 19 of the continent’s 54 countries were covered. Moreover, only 156 stations produced measurement results on the continent.
“With the only source of real-time, publicly available air quality data for the entire country of Chad provided by a single air quality monitor in the city of N’Djamena, this year the spotlight shines on disparities in coverage of global air quality data on the African continent,” IQAir wrote in its summary.
In the United States, the most polluted city was Coffeeville, Kansas, and the most polluted city was Columbus, Ohio. However, 10 of the 15 most polluted cities in the country were in California. CNN reported that air pollution in the United States was lower in 2022 than in 2021, largely because the year was less intense in terms of wildfires. In general, air pollution is caused either directly by fossil fuels through the emissions of vehicles and energy carriers, or indirectly by smoke from wildfires that have become more intense due to the climate crisis.
“This is literally about how we as a planet continue to be in this unhealthy relationship with fossil fuels,” Glory Dolphin Hames, North America CEO of IQAir, told CNN. “We are still dependent on fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are responsible for most of the air pollution on our planet.”
The complete list of the most polluted countries herethe most polluted Hungarian city here can be seen.
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