How Toxic Is Your City’s Air? Now You Can Find Out
Where in the world is the cleanest air?
Take a deep breath.
Do you feel that? In that breath you just took, there was some level of air pollution that is now affecting the cells in your body.
Depending on where you live in the world, that pollution may be at levels that are deemed safe by the World Health Organization, or levels that could make you sick.
And now, thanks to a new tool from the WHO, you can find out what those levels are.
The tool is part of the WHO’s BreatheLife campaign, which aims to decrease air pollution, which kills some 6.5 million people every year and contributes to climate change. It is the fourth-biggest threat to human health after diet, smoking, and blood pressure.
India, Iran, and China are home to some of the most polluted cities on the planet, putting citizens at risk for the serious health effects of pollution: heart disease, stroke, cancers, and lung infections.
Read More: Delhi’s Air Catastrophe, in Photos
But even in less-polluted cities, the invisible tiny particles that make up what we think of as “pollution” can cause immediate symptoms like coughing or causing eyes to water.
Nearly 40,000 deaths in the United States are attributed to pollution every year, according to the WHO.
The BreatheLife campaign and the WHO are advocating for cities to curb emissions and switch to clean energy and for individuals to reduce their own carbon footprint to help reduce pollution to safe levels by 2030.