The most polluted city is?


As Beijing again makes worldwide news for its hideously smog-choked skies, a look at a list of some of the planet's most polluted cities finds that the Chinese capital isn't even in the top 20 for smog.

While certainly wretched by American standards, Beijing's average air pollution level is 53, on a scale from 26 to 208. (The numbers reflect  the amount of the smog-causing microscopic particles in the air.)

Many of the world's most polluted cities are in India, with Delhi "leading" the pack with a level of 153. The report, which was prepared in 2014 by the World Health Organization, looked at outdoor air pollution in nearly 1,600 cities in 91 countries.

By way of comparison, Los Angeles was at 20 and New York City at 14. The problem in Beijing is that while its  overall average may not be catastrophic, when  the smog gets bad it can be really dreadful, as evidenced by the current air quality reading of 200.

The great majority of cities worldwide exceed WHO's air quality guidelines.