It's hard to breathe and you can see the air here: the dirtiest countries on the planet
Dirty air is one of the main threats to human health. According to the World Health Organization's statement of 2021, about 7 million people die prematurely each year because of it. WHO is sounding the alarm. In 2021, the recommended annual average PM2.5 concentration was halved from 10 µg/m3 to 5 µg/m3. These are the numbers that states must strive for in order to improve the environmental situation and quality of life.
What exactly is causing air pollution?
PM2.5 is suspended solid and liquid microparticles ranging in size from 10 nm to 2.5 μm. They are recognized as the most harmful to human health because they easily penetrate through biological barriers into the lungs and circulatory system and accumulate there. Among the chemical components of PM2.5, there are sulfates, nitrates, carbon black, ammonium, and others.
The main source of air pollution is internal combustion engines. In addition, a lot of harmful emissions into the air are produced by power plants, industrial and agricultural enterprises. Sandstorms and wildfires exacerbate the pollution.
In which countries is it hardest to breathe?
The actual concentration of particles in the air is assessed by various eco-monitoring services around the world. One of the most reputable is the Swiss IQAir. The IQAir World Air Quality Report 2021 presents monitoring data from 6,475 cities and 117 countries.
The report is available in English here.
• According to statistics, no country in the world meets the recommended standards for clean air. And the dirtiest region is Asia.
• Countries with the highest level of pollution, which exceeds the recommended level by more than 10 times: Bangladesh, Chad, Pakistan, Tadjikistan, India, Oman, Kyrgyzstan. Bangladesh has topped the list since 2018.
• The dirtiest city in the world is New Delhi. The air there in not only visible because of the smog, in the fall it smells and tastes. Conservationists say breathing in a place like this is like smoking 50 cigarettes a day.
• The freshest and cleanest air is in Puerto Rico, New Caledonia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
• Interestingly, China is improving its clean air indicators every year, although the pollution levels are still dangerously high. In contrast, average PM2.5 concentrations have increased in the United States and Russia, but the air there is several times cleaner than in China.
You can find out about the air quality in your country and city in real time by following the link.
One recognized way to make the air cleaner is through new technologies and special programs that will reduce the number of gasoline vehicles and industrial energy consumption.