What is the world wide trend in air pollution? On the surface North America and Europe have been gradually improving. However, that is due to often moving industry to other countries such as China or India where air pollution is a bit more of a problem. Most of the world’s population will be subject to degraded air quality by 2050 if human-made emissions continue as usual. In this business-as-usual scenario, the average world citizen 40 years from now will experience similar air pollution to that of today’s average East Asian citizen. These conclusions are those of a study published August 1 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, an Open Access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). Air pollution is a major health risk that may worsen with increasing industrial activity. At present, urban outdoor air pollution causes 1.3 million estimated deaths per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.