Air pollution is the greatest environmental health hazard to humankind, leading to over six million deaths a year and an economic cost that equates to over $8 trillion dollars.

That’s according to the World Air Quality Report 2022 released Tuesday by Swiss air quality technology company IQAir.

Statista’s Anna Fleck reports that the analysis found that out of a surveyed 131 countries, regions and territories, only 13 met World Health Organization air guidelines of annual PM2.5 concentrations at or below 5 μg/m3 in 2022, many of which were in Oceania.

The following chart shows how greatly air quality varies globally, with cities such as Pakistan’s Lahore (97.4 μg of PM2.5 particles per m3) and India’s Delhi (92.6) both exceeded WHO guidelines more than 10 times.  At the other end of the spectrum lie cities such as Reykjavik in Iceland (3.3) and Tallinn in Estonia (4.8) which are among the few that meet guidelines. 

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