GOLDACH, Switzerland (March 22, 2022) – The 2021 World Air Quality Report finds that only three percent of cities and no single country met the latest World Health Organization’s (WHO) PM2.5 annual air quality guidelines. 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 guideline 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 to be the most harmful, widely-monitored air pollutant and has been found to be a major contributing factor to health effects such as asthma, stroke, heart and lung diseases. PM2.5 leads to millions of premature deaths every year.
“It is a shocking fact that no major city or country is providing safe and healthy air to their citizens according to the latest World Health Organization air quality guidelines,” 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 wakeup call, revealing how people worldwide are denied access to clean air. Particulate matter air pollution is produced through burning fuels including coal, oil and fossil gas, unsustainable development, and agricultural activities. Addressing the air pollution crisis requires the development of 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.
Click here to download the report.
About the World Air Quality Report
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, while the remainder represent monitoring stations managed by citizen scientists, non-profit organizations and companies.
Monitor your own air quality with IQAir’s Air Visual Monitor $499 at Aircleaners Australia. Eradicate harmful PM2.5 with IQAir’s Healthpro 250.