More than nine out of every 10 people on the planet live in areas where air pollution breaches official safety limits – and millions of people are dying as a result, according to new research by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With 90 deaths per 100,000 people, Georgia occupies the 7th position, immediately after Bosnia and Herzegovina with 92/100,000. Ukraine leads the list with 120/100,000 cases caused by pollution of the air with fine dust particles. Bulgaria and Belarus ranked second/third cases respectively following Russia fourth.
An interactive map produced by WHO shows vast areas of the world are bathed in tiny particles from pollutants such as sulphate, nitrates and black carbon, which can penetrate deep into the lungs and beyond, leading to an array of deadly diseases. China, India, eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa are among the worst affected regions.
Heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer can all be caused by the particles, known as PM2.5 and PM10, which also increase the risk of getting an acute respiratory infection.
Almost all of Georgia is above the WHO safety limit with places where the air is considered unsafe to breathe.