Friday, March 18, 2016

Pollution Concerns in Non-U.S. Cities

Beijing Hotel Smog
Beijing, China
The World Health Organization (WHO) is one resource that monitors air pollution around the world. Two gauges are PM10 levels and PM2.5 levels. Levels of PM10 considered 'unsafe' are higher than 20 micrograms per cubic meter and levels over 50 are considered dangerous. The respective levels for PM2.5 are 10 micrograms per cubic meter and more than 20.

PM10 measures particle matter that has a diameter of less than 10 microns. PM2.5 measures particle matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns. PM2.5 matter is considered more dangerous because it is easier for the smaller particles to get deeper into the lungs and, therefore, harder for the body to get rid of.

In China, there was a smog alert for a five day period at the end of November for the 30 cities surrounding Beijing. On the worst days, the PM10 rating reached 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

Ten European cities that do not meet the standard are: Oslo, London, Barcelona, Florence, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin and Moscow. Elsewhere, the following cities have high readings: Bangkok, Mexico City Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Ankara, Hanoi, Johannesburg, Ulaanbaatar, Cairo, Karachi (with PM2.5 of 117 and PM10 of 273) and Delhi with (150 and 286, respectively).

According to WHO, the high pollution in Delhi leads to over 600K premature deaths. The city with the highest PM10 is Peshawar, Pakistan, measuring 540 micrograms per cubic meter.

Dust masks anyone?

No comments:

Post a Comment