Polluted Cities: The Air Children Breathe, c. 2000


Dirty Air: the silent killer


Color-coded map shows the average concentration of small particles (PM10) of pollution in outdoor urban air by WHO sub-region in 2000. The map reflects concerns with the potential adverse health effects of inhaling particles of pollution. Children’s exposure to pollution may cause pneumonia, asthma, and low birth weight.

Legend indicates:

  • Violet: Over 25
  • Dark Blue: 21-25
  • Lighter Blue: 16-20
  • Light Blue: 11-15
  • Light Brown: no data

Inset map of Europe shows average concentration (measured in micrograms per cubic metre) of small particles (PM10) of pollution in selected cities in 2001.

Legend indicates:

  • Red dot: over 30
  • Orange dot: 21-30
  • Green dot: 20 and under

A more detailed version of this map:


Inheriting the World: The Atlas of Children’s Health and the Environment, Part Two: Global Environmental Issues. By Bruce Gordon, Richard Mackay and Eva Rehfuess, World Health Organization, 2004.
ISBN 92 4 159156 0.


© WHO 2004. All rights reserved.