Public health, environmental and social determinants of health (PHE)

Background information on urban outdoor air pollution

What information does the urban outdoor air pollution database include? How was this information collected and organized in this database?

Included in the urban outdoor air pollution database are annual mean concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 or PM2.5) based on daily measurements or data which could be aggregated into annual means. In a few exceptional cases, where annual means could not calculated, measurements covering a more limited part of the year were used. In order to present air quality that is largely representative for human exposure, urban measurement characterized as urban background, urban traffic, residential areas, commercial and mixed areas were used. Stations characterized as particular "hot spots" or exclusively industrial areas were not included, unless they were contained in reported city means and could not be dissociated.

The primary source of data in the urban outdoor air pollution database comes from official national and sub-national reports or websites reporting measurements of PM10 or PM2.5. Additional sources of outdoor air pollution measurements from other UN agencies, other development agencies, peer-reviewed journal articles and the regional networks: Clean Air Initiative for Asia and Airbase for Europe were also used.

To access the urban air pollution database or for further information regarding how the data in the urban outdoor air pollution database were selected, collected and organized, please visit the links below: