Bulgaria's Air Pollution Levels Remain Highest in Europe – WHO
Bulgaria remains the leader in the European Union in terms of air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.
The highest concentration of the two main types of particulates has been measured in Bulgaria, the WHO latest data has showed. Poland and Romania rank second and third in the negative rating.
The highest concentration of particulate matters in Bulgaria is found in the city of Pernik – 74 micrograms per cubic meter of particulates smaller than 10 microns, and 52 micrograms per cubic meter of particulates smaller than 2.5 microns. The air pollution is high in the capital city of Sofia, as well as Plovdiv, Dobrich, Pleven and Veliko Turnovo. The residents of the Black sea city of Burgas breathe the purest air in Bulgaria.
Finland, Malta, Denmark and Estonia are the EU countries with the lowest estimated concentration of particulates in the air, according to The 2014 version of WHO's Ambient Air Pollution.
In global terms, the worst air quality is found in Pakistan, where the concentration of particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 10 microns reached 282 micrograms per cubic meter of air, followed by Afghanistan, Bahrain, Qatar and Bangladesh.
The WHO database contains results of outdoor air pollution monitoring from almost 1600 cities in 91 countries. The organization reported that only 12 % of people live in cities where the air quality meets the health standards. About half of the urban population, covered by the research, lives in cities with air pollution more than 2.5 times higher than the recommended levels, which increases the risk of additional health problems and mortality due to poor air quality.
In April 2014 the World Health Organization published new data showing that air pollution was responsible for the deaths of 3.7 million people under the age of 60 in 2012. The organization also pointed out that indoor and outdoor air pollution poses the highest health risks worldwide.
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