According to the The International Agency for Research on Cancer, there were 223, 000 air pollution-related lung cancer deaths in 2010 worldwide. More than half those deaths occurred in China and East Asia. The map below, shows the
So why do the cities in China grab the headlines? Are their other factors making the pollution seem worse for the city dwellers in China? Is the media simply not interested or able to report from the streets of Ahwaz, Sanandaj and Kermanshah in Iran?
Apparently, it was the weather. A stagnant high pressure area, characterized by sinking air, allowed the dense 'pea souper' of pollutants to collect and stay put over northern China, with blocking anticyclones on three sides, preventing any wind from transporting pollutants away from the built-up areas. For more information and a weather map read the article written in Capital Weather Gang here.
Source: NASA in the public domain (link here)