Global Estimates of Daily Ambient Fine Particulate Matter Concentrations
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a mixture of solid and liquid particles that are 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. These particles can be harmful to human health because they can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the annual average PM2.5 concentration in a city should be no higher than 10 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³).
A recent study published in the journal Environmental Health PerspectivesTrusted Source provides global estimates of daily ambient PM2.5 concentrations. The study used data from satellites, ground stations, and air quality models to estimate PM2.5 concentrations in over 100,000 locations around the world.
The study found that the global average PM2.5 concentration in 2019 was 4.9 µg/m³. However, there were significant variations in PM2.5 concentrations across different regions. In Southeast Asia, the average PM2.5 concentration was 11.4 µg/m³, while in North America, it was 3.3 µg/m³.
The study also found that PM2.5 concentrations were generally higher in urban areas than in rural areas. This is because urban areas have higher levels of pollution from cars, trucks, and power plants.
The study’s findings highlight the need for continued efforts to reduce PM2.5 pollution around the world. The WHO estimates that ambient PM2.5 pollution caused 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016.
Here are some of the key findings of the study:
- The global average PM2.5 concentration in 2019 was 4.9 µg/m³.
- PM2.5 concentrations were generally higher in urban areas than in rural areas.
- PM2.5 concentrations were highest in Southeast Asia and lowest in North America.
- Ambient PM2.5 pollution caused 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016.
What can be done to reduce PM2.5 pollution?
There are a number of things that can be done to reduce PM2.5 pollution, including:
- Reducing reliance on fossil fuels
- Improving energy efficiency
- Investing in public transportation and cycling infrastructure
- Using cleaner fuels for cooking and heating
- Controlling emissions from industries
- Planting trees
By taking these steps, we can work to reduce PM2.5 pollution and protect human health.