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WHO: Air pollution levels ‘unhealthy’ in more than 80% of world’s cities

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that more than 80% of cities around the world have unhealthy air, The Guardian reports. Outdoor air pollution—measured by levels of fine particulate matter (PM)—has risen 8% since 2011, particularly in growing cities in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. India is home to eight of the top 30 cities with the most air pollution, but the winner for worst urban air quality goes to Onitsha, Nigeria. There, levels of PM are about 30 times WHO’s recommended levels. Worldwide, 98% of cities with more 100,000 people in low- and middle-income countries have unhealthy air, whereas 56% of similarly sized cities in high-income countries have polluted air. WHO’s database collected air quality data from nearly 3000 cities in 103 countries.


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