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Worrying data published by the World Health Organization reveal that the 80% of people living in urban areas in the world are exposed to polluted air above the limits set by the institution itself. Going further, 98% of people in cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants in low- and middle-income countries breathe air that does not meet WHO standards, a figure that drops to 56% in high-income countries.

In cities of high-income countries, pollution levels have improved between 2008 and 2015, which has not prevented the global level of air pollution from increasing by 8% in that period. According to the WHO criteria, the annual PM2.5 level should not exceed 10 μg/m3, and as regards the PM10 level, 20 μg/m3. In cities in Southeast Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean, levels are five to ten times above the WHO limits, yet they are the regions most affected by pollution. The WHO study was carried out using data from 795 cities in 67 countries.

Air pollution causes 3.3 million deaths each year.