Study | Global fine dust pollution exceeds limit values ​​dangerously

In Europe, fine dust pollution is declining somewhat. Globally, however, it exceeds the recommended maximum on 70 percent of all days.

Fine dust pollution is still very high for people worldwide. The daily maximum value for particles of the size PM2.5 recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) was recently exceeded on a global average on 70 percent of all days, as a research team reports in the journal “The Lancet Planetary Health”. Only 0.001 percent of people live in places where the recommended annual maximum is not exceeded.

Fine dust particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (thousandths of a millimeter) are referred to as PM2.5. The WHO had lowered the recommended limit values ​​for PM2.5 fine dust in 2021 – for the average annual pollution from 10 to 5 micrograms (thousandths of a gram) per cubic meter of air. According to Uba, this value was exceeded in Germany in 2022 at almost all of the approximately 200 measuring stations.

Lowest values ​​in Australia and New Zealand

The group led by Yuming Guo from Monash University in Melbourne determined the fine dust pollution based on measured values ​​and computer models for the years 2000 to 2019. The global annual average of PM2.5 was 32.8 micrograms per cubic meter of air. East Asia (including China) had the highest score at around 50, followed by South Asia at 37.2 and North Africa at 30.1. The lowest values ​​were in Australia and New Zealand (8.5), the rest of Oceania (12.6) and South America (15.6).

The daily maximum value of 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air recommended by the WHO was exceeded on more than 70 percent of all days worldwide, and on more than 90 percent of all days in East and South Asia.

Particulate matter pollution is declining in Europe

According to the analysis, there was a decrease in particulate matter pollution in Europe and in some regions of North America and Africa. In Europe, the recommended daily maximum was exceeded on almost 60 percent of all days in 2000, in 2019 it was only 25 percent of all days.

According to WHO data, around seven million people die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.