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              (Micrograms per cubic meter)
              Source: The World Bank
    RANK    CITY            COUNTRY         Matter
    ----    ---------       -------------   -----------
      1     Cairo           Egypt           169
      2     Delhi           India           150
      3     Kolkata         India           128
      4     Tianjin         China           125
      5     Chongqing       China           123
      7     Kampur          India           109
      8     Lucknow         India           109
      9     Jakarta         Indonesia       104
     10     Shenyang        China           101
     11     Zhengzhou       China            97
     12     Jinan           China            94
     13     Lanzhou         China            91
     14     Taiyuan         China            88
     16     Beijing         China            89
     17     Chengdu         China            86
     18     Ahmadabad       India            83
     19     Anshan          China            82
     20     Wuhan           China            79

    About the Data: Indoor and outdoor air pollution place a major burden on world health.

    where coal is the primary fuel for power plants, steel mills, industrial boilers, and domestic heating, the result is usually high levels of urban air pollution -- especially particulates and sometimes sulfur dioxide -- and, if sulfur content of the coal is high, widespread acid deposition. Where coal is not an important primary fuel or is used in plants with effective dust control, the worst emissions of air pollutants stem from the combustionn of petroleum products.

    The data on concentrations of particulate matter are estimates, for selected cities, of averge annual concentrations in residential areas away from air pollution "hotspots", such as industrial districts and transport corridors. The data are extracted from a complete set of estimates by the World Banks's Development Research Group and Environment Department in a study of annual ambient concentrations of particulate matter in world cities with populations exceeding 100,000.

    Pollutant concentrations are sensitive to local conditions, and even in the same city different monitoring sites may register different concentrations. Thus these data should be considered only a general indication of air quality in each city, and cross-country comparisons should be made with caution. The current World Health Organization air quality guidelines are annual mean concentrations of 20 micrograms per cubic meter for particulate matter less than 10 microns n diameter (PM10).

    Particulate matter refers to fine suspended particulates less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) that are cabable of penetrating deep into the respiratory tract and causing significant health damage. Data are extracted from a larger study of urban population-weighted PM10 levels in residential areas of cities with more than 100,000 residents. The estimates represent the average annual exposure level of the average urgan resident to outdoor particulate matter. The state of a country's technology and pollution controls is an important detrminant of particulate matter concentrations.

Copyright © 2006 Photius Coutsoukis and Information Technology Associates, all rights reserved.