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No country met the updated WHO PM2.5 guideline in 2021

24 March 2022

Only three percent of cities and no single country met the latest World Health Organization’s (WHO) PM2.5 annual air quality guideline, according to the 2021 World Air Quality Report by the Swiss air quality technology company iQAir. The report is based on PM2.5 air quality data from 6,475 cities in 117 countries, regions and territories around the world.

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. Last year, the WHO released an ambitious update to its global air quality guidelines, reducing the recommended annual PM2.5 concentration by half, from 10 µg/m3 down to 5 µg/m3.

The key findings of the iQAir report are:

Source: IQAir