China is the world’s deadliest country for outdoor air pollution, according to an analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The UN agency has previously warned that tiny particulates from cars, power plants and other sources are killing 3 million people worldwide each year.
For the first time the WHO has broken down that figure to a country-by-country level. It reveals that of the worst three nations, more than 1 million people died from dirty air in China in 2012, at least 600,000 in India and more than 140,000 in Russia.
Sixteen scientists from eight international institutions worked with WHO on the analysis, which gathered data from 3,000 locations, using pollution monitors on the ground, modelling and satellite readings.
Globally, 92% of the population breathes air that breaches WHO limits but the world map of deaths caused by PM2.5s changes when looked at per capita. When ranked by the number of deaths for every 100,000 people, Ukraine jumps to the top of the list at 120.
It is followed by eastern European and former Soviet states, and Russia itself, probably due to a legacy of heavy industry in the region. China drops down to 10th, at 76 per 100,000, and India falls to 27th, with 49 per 100,000.
Source: The Guardian