Port Talbot Twinned With Marseille as Europe's Most Polluted Towns

By Gary Cutlack on at

The World Health Organisation is doing its bit to stop people ever going to Wales, by declaring Port Talbot one of the most polluted towns in the world. It ties with Marseille, Singapore and Ecuador's Quito to claim levels of fine particle emissions that exceed guidelines.

But it's not all bad news for Port Talbot, as it's only the UK's most polluted town and is nothing like as bad as it can get. With a particulate rating of 18 micrograms per cubic metre – 8 over the safe limit of 10 -- the air in Port Talbot's much better for you than that of global health-hole Muzaffarpur in India, which recorded a stifling level of 197 micrograms per cubic metre.

Joined at #2 in the UK pollution league are Scunthorpe and Salford, recording 15 micrograms per cubic metre of the presumed dangerous sooty particulates, with Essex's Thurrock and the outpost of Gibraltar tying for third. It's not all industrial heartlands on the list either, as the WHO says that the tourist trap of York manages to average 12 micrograms of soot per lump of air, with Brighton, Bristol and Newcastle bang on the safe limit of 10 micrograms. [WHO via Sky News]