Data

Exposure to particulate matter air pollution

What you should know about this indicator

Rationale

Air pollution consists of many pollutants, among other particulate matter. These particles are able to penetrate deeply into the respiratory tract and therefore constitute a risk for health by increasing mortality from respiratory infections and diseases, lung cancer, and selected cardiovascular diseases.

Definition

The mean annual concentration of fine suspended particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameters is a common measure of air pollution. The mean is a population-weighted average for urban population in a country.

Method of measurement

Concentration of PM2.5 are regularly measured from fixed-site, population-oriented monitors located within the metropolitan areas. High-quality measurements of PM concentration from all the monitors in the metropolitan area can be averaged to develop a single estimate.

Method of estimation

Although PM is measured at many thousands of locations throughout the world, the amount of monitors in different geographical areas vary, with some areas having little or no monitoring. In order to produce global estimates at high resolution (0.1◦ grid‐cells), additional data is required. Annual urban mean concentration of PM2.5 is estimated with improved modelling using data integration from satellite remote sensing, population estimates, topography and ground measurements.

Exposure to particulate matter air pollution
The mean annual concentration of fine suspended particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameters is a common measure of air pollution. The mean is a population-weighted average for urban population in a country.
Source
World Health Organization - Global Health Observatory (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
January 3, 2024
Next expected update
January 2025
Date range
2010–2019

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The GHO data repository is WHO's gateway to health-related statistics for its 194 Member States. It provides access to over 1000 indicators on priority health topics including mortality and burden of diseases, the Millennium Development Goals (child nutrition, child health, maternal and reproductive health, immunization, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected diseases, water and sanitation), non communicable diseases and risk factors, epidemic-prone diseases, health systems, environmental health, violence and injuries, equity among others.

Retrieved on
January 3, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Health Organization. 2024. Global Health Observatory data repository. http://www.who.int/gho/en/. Accessed on 2024-01-03

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Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Exposure to particulate matter air pollution”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/pm25-air-pollution [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

World Health Organization - Global Health Observatory (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

World Health Organization - Global Health Observatory (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Exposure to particulate matter air pollution” [dataset]. World Health Organization, “Global Health Observatory” [original data]. Retrieved July 19, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/pm25-air-pollution