Small particle pollution

It’s been so long since the last map that I felt obligated to put one up even though I have nothing in particular to remark about it.

This is a map compiled by NASA showing the concentration of fine particulate matter, particles smaller than 2.5 μm (micrometers), in the atmosphere. These exceedingly small particles (1/3 the size of a red blood cell) pose health risks because they can enter the bloodstream through the lungs. The areas with the highest concentration are deserts (northern Africa, the Arabian peninsula and parts of eastern Asia) and dirty industry (much of China). The World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines recommend that concentrations of particulate pollution should not exceed 10 micrograms per cubic meter. The map shows that 80% of the world’s population live in areas with excessive aerosol pollution, exceeding the WHO guidelines.

Credits and technical information concerning how the data was compiled can be found on NASA’s site. Clicking on the image enlarges it.

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