WHO says 99% of world’s population breathes poor-quality air

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. health agency says nearly everybody in the world breathes air that doesn’t meet its standards for air quality. The World Health Organization is calling for more action to reduce fossil-use use that generate pollutants that cause respiratory and blood-flow problems and lead to millions of preventable deaths each year.

The appeal comes as WHO issued an update to its database on air quality that draws on information from over 6,000 municipalities.

The database particulate matter known as PM2.5 and PM10 and for the first time has included ground measurements of nitrogen dioxide. It says air quality is poorest in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia regions, followed by Africa.