Only seven countries in the world breathe safe air. Three of them are in Europe

Only seven countries in the world breathe safe air. Three of them are in Europe. Scientists say that air pollution is a ‘global health catastrophe’.

Only seven countries in the world met safe air pollution levels in 2023, a new report by Swiss air quality technology company IQAir reveals.

The World Air Quality Report, released this week, draws on data from more than 30,000 monitoring stations in 134 countries, territories and regions.

Of these, 124 were found to breach safe levels of PM2.5 (fine particulate matter), according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

These microscopic particles, measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, can be inhaled deep into our lungs and even reach our bloodstreams. They have been linked to heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, increased asthma risk, depression and anxiety, and premature death.

Which seven countries meet safe air quality levels?

The seven countries that met the safe guideline of five micrograms per cubic metre of air (µg/m3) or less were Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius and New Zealand.

Puerto Rico, Bermuda and French Polynesia also fell within safe levels.

In Europe, Iceland had the cleanest air, with 4µg/m3, followed by Estonia with 4.7µg/m3 and Finland with 4.9µg/m3.


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