Kuala Lumpur Air Quality – Live Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia AQI and PM2.5 Readings [2023]

Kuala Lumpur PM2.5 air quality averaged 17.3 micrograms in 2022. This means Kuala Lumpur PM2.5 concentrations exceeded the WHO annual limit of 5.0 micrograms by over 3 times. On the most polluted day, Kuala Lumpur air quality exceeded the recommended limit by a little under 6 times.

Current Air Quality in Kuala Lumpur

Air Quality Map

Live Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia AQI air quality map updated hourly.

How is the Air Quality in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

88% of Days in Kuala Lumpur More Polluted Than WHO Target

During 2022, 88% of days exceeded the WHO annual limit. 12% of days fell within the safe limit of 5 micrograms. That means outdoor air in Kuala Lumpur was considered safe for just 1 in 8 days during 2022.

The most polluted day in 2022 was Feb. 2, 2022, where PM2.5 concentrations were as high as 30.0 micrograms. On this day, PM2.5 pollution exceeded the recommended limit by a little under 6 times.

Kuala Lumpur PM2.5 Concentrations: 2023 – Year to Date

So far in 2023, Kuala Lumpur’s PM2.5 concentrations have averaged 15.3 micrograms. That’s 12% lower than the previous year.

Is Kuala Lumpur Air Quality Improving?

Historical air quality (AQI) data for Kuala Lumpur over the past 4 years (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) shows that air quality has ever so slightly worsened. This shows a worrying trend for air quality in Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday is the Most Polluted Day of the Week in Kuala Lumpur

Thursdays are the most polluted day of the week in Kuala Lumpur. PM2.5 levels on an average Thursday reach 18.9 micrograms. That’s 7% higher than the least polluted day – Tuesday. On Tuesday, PM2.5 air pollution averages 17.7 micrograms.

On average, Thursdays see PM2.5 pollution that’s a little under 4 times the WHO limit. For Tuesdays – the least polluted day – PM2.5 air pollution is a little under 4 times.

Why Is Kuala Lumpur Air Quality Bad Today?

Weather plays a big role in how Kuala Lumpur air quality is each day. Heat and sunlight help create ozone. That’s why ozone pollution is higher during the day and during hotter months. Studies show rain can reduce PM2.5 air pollution a little, but strong winds usually reduce PM2.5 much more.

Research has found that PM2.5 around the world follows a daily pattern. Of course, any particular day can be an exception. However, across continents, PM2.5 pollution tends to be worse from 8pm to 2am, with another bad spike around morning rush hour. PM2.5 is the lowest around 4pm, when air tends to mix higher in the atmosphere.

Air Quality Around the World

Kuala Lumpur Air Pollution: The Negative Health Effects

Size of PM2.5 and PM10 particles compared to human hair

This analysis of Kuala Lumpur’s air quality is based on PM2.5 pollution. These are particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.

Many people know that air pollution causes lung cancer and asthma. But fewer people know that air pollution kills far more people through our hearts and blood vessels.

Studies have shown that PM2.5 raises blood pressure, inflammation, and rates of heart attacks and strokes.

WATCH: Why Is PM2.5 So Harmful to Us?

5 Things You Should Know about PM2.5 Air Pollution

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Protect Your Health in Kuala Lumpur From Air Pollution

Despite the harms of PM2.5 air pollution, studies of air purifiers have found that removing particulate in the home lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and improves immune response.

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2 thoughts on “Kuala Lumpur Air Quality – Live Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia AQI and PM2.5 Readings [2023]”

  1. I think improvement between 2019 and 2020 may be related to lockdown/covid. we may see increase again in 2022.
    In Europe, frequent polution peaks happens during traffic jam (10AM/ 8PM). in Paris we got pm2.5 between 35 & 45 micrograms every week since 2022

    • For the year to date (up until 30th Jan) the PM2.5 pollution in Kuala Lumpur has been on par with 2021, but we may yet see an increase. However, looking at the data – 2019 looks like an outlier in terms of PM2.5 air pollution levels. 2019 saw an annual average PM2.5 concentration of more than double the previous years.


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