Let’s all take one deep breath in celebration!

A new World Health Organization database measuring air quality across the globe places Canada as one of the world’s top countries when it comes to air quality.

The WHO launched its Air Quality database on Monday. It covers nearly 1,100 cities in 91 countries thus revealing where those bastions of clean air and the hot pockets of pollution are located. The ranking looks at how many air pollutant particles were recorded in a cubic metre of air in each country. Scientific!

Canada tied for third with Australia and followed Estonia and Mauritius.

But before you start hyperventilating in jubilation, keep in mind that although Canada scored very well, even a small amount of particulate matter can affect a person’s health. We guess there’s still work to be done to clear the air before we can really celebrate.

It’s not perfect, however, our air is head and shoulders above some of the air that people are breathing in other countries. The worst air quality was reported in Ahwaz, Iran with average level of 372 micrograms of particulate matter at least 10 micrometres in size per cubic metre of air (quite a mouthful!). In comparison, Canada had an average of 13 micrograms and the WHO recommends 20 as an acceptable level.

Interesting info! All the data used by the WHO was collected between 2003 and 2010, with the majority collected in 2008 and 2009. Just so you know, they didn’t pull all of this out of thin air…

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