The air in cities features a complex mix of toxic emissions trapped between infrastructure creating pollution hotspots.


London has more areas of unsafe NO2 than anywhere else in the UK


The average PM2.5 levels are 3 times over the WHO limit of 25μg/m3 in Bejing


Paris pollution is like smoking 183 cigarettes a year


Breathing Delhi’s air is equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

Where pollution comes from


In cities, there are two main sources. Mobile sources, such as cars, buses, vans, planes, and trains, especially those running diesel engines; and Stationary sources such as power plants, industrial factories and refineries.

What pollutants are created


Air pollutants in cities are usually made up of Nitrogen Dioxide from diesel vehicles, Particulate Matter 2.5/10 which is fine airborne particles, Carbon Monoxide from home appliances, and Ozone from ultra-violet radiation and chemical reactions with other airborne pollutants.

Where the key hotspots are


Pollution hotspots are places with a high density of people, high emissions and long dwell time. Hotspots in cities usually occur at transport hubs, in parks and playgrounds close to roads, outdoor eating/drinking areas and inside ground floor shops along high streets.

The Human cost of pollution

1 in 8 deaths

Is linked to air pollution, making it the biggest environmental health issue.

Reduced life expectancy

Estimates by 16 months in London and over 4 years in some cities in China

6 times

More people die by air pollution than Malaria and four times more than HIV/AIDS

Children’s lungs

Are made permanently smaller in places with high pollution levels.

Did you know?

 It is estimated that people breathe 20,000 litres of air each day

In Taiwan the ritual of burning paper money added nearly double the number of toxins to the air

The global cost of air pollution is $225 billion annually, according to the World Bank

70% of the air pollution caused in Chinese cities is due to tailpipes

Air pollution inside your car can be 10x worse then on the street