HEALTHY HEART BLOG

How does your city rank in air pollution and impact your heart?

How does your city rank in air pollution and impact your heart?

When reading about air pollution, one usually associates this worldwide problem with lung disease. So you might be surprised to learn that air conditions in your city greatly affect your short term as well as long term heart health.

Air pollution can lead to heart disease
According to the American Heart Association, tiny pollution particles can lead to great heart problems. And it doesn’t affect only big cities. Air pollution comes from various sources such as heavy traffic, power production, wildfires or poor quality heating systems. Smog and fumes can travel to places you would expect to be safe.

How does your city rank in air pollution and impact your heart?

American cities rank higher
When it comes to continents and large countries, you might be surprised to learn that American cities ranked much higher over European ones on the air quality scale. And although countries with emerging economies have always been the most polluted, you might find it interesting to know that China is, in general, a better place to live than India.

The World Health Organization considers fine particulate matter pollution levels higher than 10 micrograms per cubic meter to be unsafe. The majority of American cities are in the safe zone, with the average pollution level at 9.6. Thirty-three percent of cities are above the W.H.O. standard.

Europe is a different story
The average European city has pollution levels that are double what the W.H.O. considers safe, at 21.7 micrograms per cubic meter. In total, 93 percent of Europe’s cities have usage levels of pollution when measured against the W.H.O.’s standards.

Highest polluted countries in the world
When it comes to comparing pollution readings from around the globe, it is not surprising that emerging countries tend to have a higher pollution level. So it might not comes as a surprise that China and India are the two most polluted countries in the world, with India taking the lead on the most polluted rankings.

Sources:
Greater London Authority
The New York Times

Last updated: June 30, 2017