Almost nowhere on Earth is safe in terms of air quality: study – CTV

March 13, 2023

When it comes to air quality, almost nobody on Earth is safe, according to a new study.

We are constantly breathing in fine particulate matter detrimental to our health in nearly every place across the planet, researchers found, with only 0.001 per cent of the global population being exposed to levels of particulate matter considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It’s the first study of its kind to examine air quality on a global scale, according to researchers. Poor air quality can lead to a higher burden of illness in populations, as air pollution can contribute to the risk of strokes and respiratory illnesses.

Most previous studies on air quality have focused solely on city or national levels, or only global trends. This study, published this month in the peer-reviewed journal the Lancet Planetary Health, looked at daily average concentrations of particulate matter from 2000-2019.

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