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Air pollution is the world’s largest preventable health risk. Bad air quality is responsible for 7 million deaths every year (3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths related to outdoor air pollution).

Nowadays, air pollution kills more people than cigarette and obesity. And it going to be worse in 10 years if no air quality control policies are implemented.

cost of pollutionOECD documentary: “Air pollution taking heavy toll”

But air quality is very different from a country to another, and even a city to another. Air pollution is an important source of inequalities. Some cities like San Francisco has a good air quality, other ones like Beijing and New Delhi, are often covered with a heavy smog of ozone and fine particulate.

As a direct consequence, the cost of air pollution varies a lot according to the country. In China, the cost of the health impact of air pollution was about USD 1.4 trillion in 2010, and about USD 0.5 trillion in India. In comparison, this cost is of USD 54 billions in France and 23 millions in Canada.

The number of deaths caused by air pollution is also different  from a country to another: almost 1.3 million in China, 700 000 in India, 17 000 in France or 1400 in Chile.

Here is an interesting visualisation from the OECD of the cost and the inequalities of air pollution in the world:

Have a look at the inequalities of air quality in the world with the Plume Air Report.

More information on the OECD website.

Photo credit: NRCD