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March 22, 2022

IQAir World Air Quality Report finds that 97 Percent of Global Cities did not meet Latest WHO Air Quality Guidelines.

IQAir World Air Quality

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IQAir World Air Quality

GOLDACH, Switzerland, March 22, 2022 — The 2021 World Air Quality Report finds that only three percent of cities and not even one country met the latest World Health Organization’s (WHO) PM2.5 annual air quality guideline. The report analyzes PM2.5 air pollution measurements from air monitoring stations in 6,475 cities in 117 countries, regions, and territories.

IQAir’s 2021 World Air Quality Report is the first major global air quality report based on the updated annual WHO air quality guideline for PM2.5. The new procedure was released in September 2021 and cut the existing annual PM2.5 guideline value from 10 µg/m3 to 5 µg/m3.

Fine particle pollution, known as PM2.5, is commonly accepted as the most harmful, widely monitored air pollutant and is a major contributing factor to health effects such as asthma, stroke, heart and lung diseases. In addition, PM2.5 leads to millions of premature deaths every year.

Key findings:

The top five most polluted countries in 2021 were:

New Delhi (India) is the world’s most polluted capital city for the second consecutive year, followed by Dhaka (Bangladesh), N’Djamena (Chad), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), and Muscat (Oman).

Air quality in China continued to improve in 2021. More than half of the cities in China included in the report saw lower levels of air pollution when compared to the previous year. Pollution levels within the capital city of Beijing continued a nine-year trend of improved air quality, driven by emission control and reduction of coal power plant activity and other high emission industries.

Central and South Asia had some of the world’s worst air quality in 2021 and was home to 47 of the world’s 50 most polluted cities. The only two cities that met the updated WHO PM2.5 guideline were Zhezqazghan and Chu (Kazakhstan).

Air quality monitoring remains sparse in Africa, South America, and the Middle East. However, progress has been made by low-cost air quality sensors often operated by non-profit organizations and citizen scientists.

“Shockingly, no major city or country provides safe and healthy air to their citizens according to the latest World Health Organization air quality guideline,” said Frank Hammes, CEO of IQAir. “This report underscores just how much work remains to be done to ensure that everyone has safe, clean, and healthy air to breathe. The time for action is now.”

“We understand better than ever before how air pollution damages our health and economies. This report is a wake-up call, revealing how people are denied access to clean air. Particulate matter air pollution is produced by burning coal, oil, and fossil gas, unsustainable development, and agricultural activities. Addressing the air pollution crisis requires developing renewable energy resources and clean-powered, accessible public transport. Moreover, solutions to air pollution are also solutions to the climate crisis. Breathing clean air should be a basic human right, not a privilege,” said Greenpeace India Campaign manager Avinash Chanchal.

The 2021 World Air Quality Report is based on PM2.5 air pollution data from ground-based air quality monitoring stations in 6,475 cities in 117 countries, regions, and territories. Of the air quality monitoring stations included in this report, 44 percent were operated by governmental agencies.

IQAir is a Swiss-based air quality technology company that empowers individuals, organizations, and communities to breathe cleaner air through information, collaboration, and technology solutions. IQAir provides affordable air quality monitoring and data solutions to governments, NGOs, educational institutions, corporations, and individuals in over 100 countries.

Source: IQAir

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:33 PM | Link to this Post

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