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Mar 22, 2022

No country met WHO air quality standards in 2021, survey shows

Posted by in categories: environmental, health

SHANGHAI, March 22 (Reuters) — Not a single country managed to meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality standard in 2021, a survey of pollution data in 6,475 cities showed on Tuesday, and smog even rebounded in some regions after a COVID-related dip.

The WHO recommends that average annual readings of small and hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 should be no more than 5 micrograms per cubic metre after changing its guidelines last year, saying that even low concentrations caused significant health risks.

But only 3.4% of the surveyed cities met the standard in 2021, according to data complied by IQAir, a Swiss pollution technology company that monitors air quality. As many as 93 cities saw PM2.5 levels at 10 times the recommended level.

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