Glasgow is the most polluted city in the UK

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A total of 44 towns and cities in the United Kingdom are in breach of the recommended World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for air quality.

An increased exposure to fine sooty particles in the atmosphere has seen the borough join a list of more than 44 locations across the United Kingdom failing quality tests carried out by the global body.

Glasgow had 16 micrograms of the particles per cubic metre of air, exceeding the 10 micrograms safe limit.

London, Southampton and Leeds were among the worst offenders at 15µg/m3, but the crown for most polluted air goes to Glasgow, coming in at 16µg/m3.

In total, 44 towns and cities across the United Kingdom failed the WHO's air quality test.

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Scientists from the World Health Organization believe that the level of fine particles, known as PM2.5s, as they measure less than two-and-a-half microns, should only be 10mg per cubic metre of air on average.

Earlier this year Public Health England linked 153 premature deaths in Wigan to air pollution.

Dr Toby Hillman, RCP's lead on sustainability said: "We know that high exposures in early life have a major effect on lung and cognitive development throughout an individual's life - that is why it is the government's duty to improve the air we breathe and to ensure that people across the United Kingdom are not exposed to such a preventable cause of death and illness".

The RCP's special adviser on air quality, Professor Stephen Holgate, said the United Kingdom was taking some encouraging steps to tackle air pollution, but bolder action was needed.

"Consequently I contacted the council immediately for their response and they said, 'we don't recognise this to be the case and are very concerned to read the report. It's probably one of the key drivers of the reduction in air quality, particularly in Metropolitan areas".