No corner of the Earth is free from air pollution: only 0.001% of the world’s population breathes air where concentrations of fine particulate matter are within levels considered safe by the World Health Organization. This came in the first study conducted in the world on the most dangerous fine particulate matter to health, which is called PM 2.5, published In The Lancet Planetary Health, led by Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. The research will allow for a better assessment of the short- and long-term health effects of air pollution and the development of strategies to reduce the related risks.
Researchers led by Wenhua Yu combined data from traditional air quality monitoring stations, satellites and weather detectors, and reprocessed them thanks to innovative machine learning systems to present a highly detailed global picture. The results showed that despite a slight decrease in days with high levels of PM 2.5, more than 70% of days in 2019 exceeded the threshold of 15 micrograms per cubic meter set by the World Health Organization, with an annual average from 2000 to 2019 of 32.8 micrograms. per cubic meter.
The highest concentrations of PM 2.5 are found in South and East Asia and North Africa, while the lowest are found in Australia, New Zealand and Latin America, countries that experienced significantly higher levels of air pollution in the period under study. . The only regions where the annual and daily concentration of fine particulate matter has decreased are Europe and North America, where pollution remains above the danger level.
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