March 29, 2023 11:17 pm

Air pollution is a significant matter. Who desires to check out a city only to finish up walking its streets breathing acrid smells and harming your overall health? But air pollution does not just imply the smog we can see – the truly hazardous stuff is invisible to the naked eye. A 2022 report by the Globe Overall health Organization cites that 99% of the whole worldwide population is breathing polluted, overall health-harming air. And with additional than six,000 cities across 117 nations now monitoring air good quality, the information set is complete and compelling.

Smoke and sunset cast a glow more than Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capital city.


To attempt and clarify that into some thing usable, the air professionals at HouseFresh have mapped 480 cities about the planet, calculating the typical air pollution level of the initially nine months of 2019 against the initially nine months of 2022 to see exactly where air pollution has improved and exactly where it has decreased. Making use of’s Globe Air High-quality Index information for each and every city, they measured typical levels of particulate matter two.five (PM2.five) – particles that are compact adequate to pass into our bloodstream (about 3 per cent the width of an typical human hair) and result in a variety of overall health challenges – in the air. They then made use of a formula created by AirNow to convert the PM2.five figure into micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) values.

So, with the science taken care of we can appear at the numbers and see exactly where are the most effective locations to take not only a metaphorical but also a genuine breath of fresh air. 1 point to note – cities in Ukraine have been omitted from the report due to the inevitable effect on air pollution brought on by the military conflict.

The Cities Exactly where Air Pollution Has Enhanced And Decreased The Most

The ten most effective and worst performing cities for air pollution in between 2019 and 2022.


Of the 480 cities surveyed, the most effective performing is Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar), the magical capital city of Mongolia, which has observed air pollution reduce the most with PM2.five levels dropping by -23.4µg/m3. That is not to say, nevertheless, that this reduce tends to make it a bastion of fresh air. Noted previously as 1 of the most polluted capital cities on earth thanks to a mix of organic and manmade variables, it was topic to an air good quality improvement strategy in 2017 which seems to be displaying constructive final results.

Dammam, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia is an critical place for the Saudi oil market and the … [+] most polluted city in the survey.


At the other finish of the scale, Dammam in Saudi Arabia has observed air pollution worsen the most, with PM2.five levels going up +111.1µg/m3. A considerable center for the Saudi oil market and dwelling to each the biggest port in the Persian Gulf and the biggest airport in the planet, it is a clear hotspot for damaging PM2.five air pollution and is presently the most polluted city surveyed. Of the world’s capital cities, Baghdad has knowledgeable the worst improve in pollution, with PM2.five levels going up +31.6µg/m3. A 2015 report notes that “81% of PM2.five from Baghdad is dominated by dust, sulfate, gasoline and diesel.”

In Europe, Salamanca has observed PM2.five levels improve the most by +five.1µg/m3 closely followed by Palma with +three.7µg/m3 – each Spanish cities quickly topic to the introduction of low-emission zones for cars in an work to aid the nation attain climate neutrality by 2050. On the flip side it is North Macedonian capital city Skopje that is observed the greatest constructive adjust in PM2.five particles, with a reduce of -12.4µg/m3. Skopje was after Europe’s most polluted capital city and has far to go to reach clean air, but implementing a Green City Action Strategy has clearly been a very good start out.

Omaha is cleaning up its act and performed improved than any other U.S. city in decreasing air … [+] pollution.


In the U.S., Miami, Florida and Salt Lake City, Utah share the highest PM2.five level increases, each seeing a +1.8µg/m3 rise considering the fact that 2019. Salt Lake City suffers from a meteorological phenomenon recognized as ‘inversion’ thanks to its place in a valley exactly where cooler, polluted air is trapped close to ground level beneath warmer air above it. Omaha, Nebraska has a additional constructive outcome with a reduce of -1.1µg/m3 in PM2.five levels, while it nonetheless sits nicely down the all round U.S. ranking cities behind Honolulu, Providence, Salem, Tucson, Portland and Albuquerque.

The Cities With The Least And Most Air Pollution

You will discover the cleanest air of any city in this report in Zürich, Switzerland with PM2.five levels of just .5µg/m3. Placed initially in each 2019 and 2022, it saw a constant level of air good quality through that period with a compact reduce in PM2.five levels of -.1µg/m3. Second location is Perth with 1.7µg/m3 displaying a drop of -six.2µg/m3 considering the fact that 2019. Australia fares incredibly nicely in the best ten cleanest cities with 5 entries such as Hobart, Wollongong, Launceston and Sydney alongside Perth. Honolulu is the only U.S. city to make the best ten, taking tenth spot with levels of 4µg/m3, displaying a tiny improve in pollution considering the fact that 2019.

Breathe deep: Zurich in Switzerland has the cleanest air of any city surveyed.


We currently know the most polluted city to be Dammam in Saudi Arabia with a PM2.five level of 155µg/m3. Nearly all of the best ten most polluted cities are in the Middle East and Asia, with Lahore in Pakistan second worst with 98.1µg/m3 of PM2.five. Just behind it is Dubai, the miracle city born from the desert and dwelling to the world’s tallest constructing, the Burj Khalifa. Elsewhere, India performs poorly with 3 cities in the bottom ten – Muzaffarnagar, Delhi, New Delhi.

Air pollution level modifications in capital cities in between 2019 and 2022.


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