Kenya has been named the world’s least toxic country, topping a list that takes account of air pollution, energy consumption and renewable energy production.

The cleanest countries were largely those from Sub-Saharan Africa, while countries in the Middle East dominated the other end of the list. Saudi Arabia was ranked as the most toxic country.

Data released by WHO last year revealed that levels of air pollution had increased by 8 percent between 2009 and 2016. According to its estimates, poor air quality claims the lives of 7 million people every year.

Maria Neira, WHO’s public health chief, said the figures were indicative of a “major, major public health problem,” stressing that public awareness of the issue needed to be raised.

“The cost for countries is enormous. Air pollution affects economies and people’s quality of life. It leads to major chronic diseases and to people ultimately dying.”

                                                                                                -Newsweek-