Air Quality Awareness Week Day 5: Air Quality Around the World

This blog is part of a series about air quality and your health. See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

National Air Quality Awareness Week is May 2 - 6, and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is reminding Nevadans: "Be Air Aware and Prepared!” Throughout the week, we’ve shared helpful information and resources about Nevada’s air quality on this blog. As the week comes to an end, be sure to share what you’ve learned about healthy air by using the hashtag #AQAW2022!


What Is the Air Quality in Other Countries?

We’ve learned this week that air quality is affected by a lot of things, both natural and human-caused. But the quality of your air also depends on where you live. Due to a variety of factors, air quality is better in some areas than in others. It can also change depending on the time of year, natural disasters, or even global pandemics. The picture below shows a snapshot of the AQI around the world:

Despite these factors, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 99% of people in the world breath air that exceeds their guideline limits, and lower-income countries suffer the highest levels of exposure to pollutants.

WHO also estimates that air pollution kills 7 million people a year worldwide. Although air quality has improved over the last few decades, air pollution is still a major global public health concern. The U.S. Department of State hosts air quality monitors at many of its embassies and consulates around the world. You can check what the air quality is at those locations here.

Compared to other countries, the air quality where we live tends to be very good for most of the year. Check out the plots below showing the 2021 air quality for Carson City, Nevada and Vientiane, Laos:

The graphs measure particulate matter, with green dots indicating “Good” air quality, yellow dots representing “Moderate”, orange dots indicating “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”, and red and purple dots representing “Unhealthy” and “Very Unhealthy” respectively. You may notice the spike in particulate matter in Carson City, which happened during the height of wildfire season.


Thanks For Following Us This Week!

As Air Quality Awareness Week 2022 comes to an end, we want to remind you that Healthy Air is Important for Everyone! If you have additional questions, please contact the Air Quality team at NDEP.