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B.C. Cities Have World’s Cleanest Air, Says WHO

British Columbia cities have some of the cleanest air on earth, according to the World Health Organization, which collected air quality data from over a thousand cities around the world.

The global health body released its list of measurements ranking 1,100 cities in 91 countries this week and B.C. had six of the top 10 cities in the world, including Kitimat, Burns Lake, Houston, Terrace, Nanaimo and Nelson.

The city with the cleanest air in the world was Whitehorse in the Yukon. The worst was Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

Amongst countries, Estonia topped the list with the best air quality, and Mauritius ranked second, while Canada tied with Australia for third.

David Reid works for the EcoSociety in Nelson. He says geography plays a role, as do trees.

“In the big picture we’re lucky to have the air quality we have,” he said.

But Reid says regulations and personal choice are also helping.

“I think regulation is a big part of it. And we as individuals are becoming more conscious of air quality in driving and consumption choice,” said Reid.

“We certainly have air quality issues, such as old woodstoves and idling cars,” he said.


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