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29 May 2019 How polluted is your city’s air? Find out now!

Is your city’s air over the World Health Organization’s safe limit? Find out with the BreatheLife city meter.

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Did you know that you can find out if your city’s air is over the World Health Organization’s safe limit?

With ever more people living in cities and 70 per cent of the world’s population due to be living in cities by 2050, it’s good to be informed. Information is power and can lead to persuasive action for a safer environment.

Air pollution affects all regions of the world. However, populations in low-income cities are the most impacted.

As air pollution increases, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for people who breathe polluted air.

According to the latest air quality database, 97% of cities in low- and middle- income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet World Health Organization air quality guidelines. However, in high-income countries, that percentage decreases to 49%.

The World Health Ambient Air Quality Database covers more than 4,300 cities and settlements in 108 countries. Now the database is available as a visual, user-friendly “pollution meter”.

Check air pollution levels in your city here

The meter allows you to find out things like:

  • Annual deaths from air pollution in your city
  • Leading killer diseases for indoor and outdoor air pollution in your city
  • Annual average PM2.5 in your city

You’ll see that pollution levels—PM2.5 concentrations measured in micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air—vary widely from city to city. For example:

Beijing – 7.3 times over the safe level

Delhi – 14.3 times the safe level

London – 10% over the safe level

San Francisco – 20% below the safe level

Santiago – 2.9 times the safe level

Sao Paulo – 60% over the safe level

Sarajevo - 3 times the safe level

Shanghai – 4.5 times the safe level

Sydney – 20% above the safe level

Tokyo – 70% over the safe level

Ulaanbataar – 9.2 times above the safe level

Now it’s your turn to see what your city’s pollution is here.

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