The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) has been released and it is not good reading.
The research has found that nine out of ten people around the world breathe air containing high levels of pollution. The agency estimates that pollution causes 7 million deaths each year.
The latest WHO figures measure the number of pollutants in the air in more than 4,300 cities, towns and other settlements from 108 countries around the world.
The data found that pollution levels are highest in south-east Asia, the Middle East and north Africa. It also found that many of the world’s mega-cities have annual average pollution levels more than five times the WHO safe limit.
The lowest pollution levels were found in wealthy countries, particularly those in Europe, the Americas and the western Pacific.
More than 90 per cent of air pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle income countries, particularly in Asia and Africa.
The good news is that some contries are starting to take notice of these findings. China, often regarded as one of the world’s worst polluters, has made surprising progress. While number of other countries such as India and Mexico have also taken positive steps on a smaller scale.