By John LaForge
New York Times: “According to a pre-pandemic study from the World Health Organization, 98 percent of the world’s population lives in places that do not meet its guidelines for healthy air quality, with emissions from vehicles and heavy industry polluting the air year-round.”
The Guardian Weekly: “Analysis of data gathered using cutting-edge methodology — including detailed satellite images and measurements from more than 1,400 ground monitoring stations — reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
“The WHO says the annual average concentrations of PM2.5 (tiny airborne particles mostly produced by burning fossil fuels and some of which can pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream and affect almost every organ) should not exceed 5 micrograms a cubic meter. The new analysis found only 2% of the population of Europe live in areas within this limit.”
Said Roel Vermeulen, a prof of environmental epidemiology at Utrecht University who led the team of researchers across the continent that compiled the data, “What we see quite clearly is that nearly everyone in Europe is breathing unhealthy air.”