According to the 2011 World Health Organisation (WHO) report, pollution is measured as the microgramme (mcg) concentration per cubic metre of air of particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometres (PM10) – about a seventh of the width of a human hair.
The figures below are an average for the year. Seasonal spikes can be many times higher.
The WHO’s health guidelines’ maximum exposure of 20 mcg/m3 is measured as an annual average.
Ahvaz, Iran, 372 mcg/m3 (2009 data)
Ulan Bator, Mongolia, 279 mcg/m3 (2008 data)
Sanandaj, Iran, 254 mcg/m3 (2009 data)
Ludhiana, India, (2008 data)
and Quetta, Pakistan, (2004 data) tied at 251 mcg/m3
Kermanshah, Iran, 229 mcg/m3 (2009 data)
Peshawar, Pakistan, 219 mcg/m3 (2004 data)
Gaborone, Botswana, 216 mcg/m3 (2005 data)
Yasuj, Iran, 215 mcg/m3 (2009 data)
Kanpur, India, 209 mcg/m3 (2008 data)
Lahore, Pakistan, 200 mcg/m3 (2004 data).
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