2018/09/19: Nine out of ten people live in places where outdoor air pollution exceeds guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Hotspots are congested urban areas in low- and middle-income countries such as India, Nigeria and China. In some megacities — Mexico City, for example — authorities have begun to adopt cleaner vehicle standards. But fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide from vehicular traffic, energy production, industry and heating remain a serious public-health risk in most built-up areas.
Even many cities in wealthy Europe fail to meet the WHO standards.
as air-quality concerns continue to grow, the forum must liaise more with city leaders and health specialists to make sure they get the tools and data they need.
The results of this environmental science should be shared with countries worldwide. The situation is bad in rich countries: the WHO says that about half of city dwellers in developed nations are exposed to air that does not meet its guidelines. In cities of more than 100,000 people in the developing world, that figure rises to include almost everybody (97%). India alone has nine of the world’s ten most-polluted cities. Air is a shared resource. Research and tools to make it safe to breathe should be shared as well.