The Global Air Pollution Crisis

Across the globe, people are suffocating in bouts of dense smog and extremely high levels of air pollution. Just about every country in the world grapples with pollution, no matter how rich or poor they are. But you may not be aware of just how toxic your country is.

Toxic countries are mostly a man-made problem. The single largest source of air pollutants is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline. Fossil fuels are used for heating, to operate transportation vehicles, in generating electricity, and in manufacturing and other industrial processes. Burning these fuels causes smog, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions.

The data measures the toxicity of countries based on rates of particulate matter* in the air we breathe. The interactive map below shows the median rate of particulate matter across 184 countries.

Middle-Eastern oil-rich countries dominate the top ten spaces on the most polluted list:

  1. Saudi Arabia, particulate matter level of 108.
  2. Qatar, particulate matter level of 103.
  3. Egypt, particulate matter level of 93.
  4. Bangladesh, particulate matter level of 84.
  5. Kuwait, particulate matter level of 75.
  6. Cameroon, particulate matter level of 65.
  7. Mauritania particulate matter level of 65.
  8. Nepal, particulate matter level of 64.
  9. United Arab Emirates, particulate matter level of 64.
  10. India, particulate matter level of 62.

Top 20 include:

  1. Libya, particulate matter level of 61.
  2. Bahrain, particulate matter level of 60.
  3. Pakistan, particulate matter level of 60.
  4. Niger, particulate matter level of 59.
  5. Uganda, particulate matter level of 57.
  6. China, particulate matter level of 54.
  7. Myanmar, particulate matter level of 51.
  8. Iraq, particulate matter level of 50.
  9. Bhutan, particulate matter level of 48.
  10. Oman, particulate matter level of 48.

The United Kingdom is placed 159th on the list with a particulate matter level of 12. The USA have been given the 173rd spot, with an impressively low particulate matter level of 8.

The interactive map also shows that countries such as China, who are infamous for the lack of clean air within their cities, have polluted air levels that are HALF of the amount of Saudi Arabia. China scored a level of 54 compared to the Saudi Arabia’s horrifying particulate matter score of 108. Saudi Arabia are the top offender in the most polluted city stakes.

The likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases, cancer and stroke are heightened in areas with high pollution and studies prove that child mortality rates are higher in countries with greater air pollution. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution is now a greater threat to health than Ebola or HIV and 80% of all urban areas have air pollution levels above what is considered healthy.

However it is not all doom and gloom, some of the cleanest air in the world belongs to New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Brunei Darussalam, who all boast an impressive level of particulate matter at 5.

Author Bio:

Chri Rowson is the founder of eC02 Greetings, which provides the highest quality ecards with unrivalled eco benefits. Ten trees are planted with every ecard purchased.

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