Chile's not-so-clean air

Ask someone to describe Santiago, and inevitably they'll mention the smog.

The Chilean capital is notorious for its smog, which blankets the city in the winter and makes it nearly impossible to see the mountains that tower over it.

But recent studies show air pollution is even worse in other parts of the country, reports the Santiago Times. The air is actually better in Santiago than in many Chilean cities, particularly those in the south.

For comparison's sake: Santiago averages about 25 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air; the cities of Rancagua, Talca, Curico, Temuco, Valdivia and Coyhaique regularly measure more than 40 ug/m; the World Health Organization recommends levels of 10 ug/m; the U.S. standard is 15 ug/m.

map of polluted cities in chile

Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

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