The World Health Organisation has warned that air pollution is "getting worse".
Only 12% of residents in cities that reported on air pollution were living in areas that comply with the WHO's guidelines.
The WHO estimates that in 2012 air pollution was responsible for the deaths of 3.7 million people around the world.
Although several British cities have been named as breaching safe air quality levels, cities in countries such as India, China and Pakistan have much higher levels of pollution.
Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO's assistant director-general for family, children and women's health, said many cities were now "so enveloped in dirty air that their skylines are invisible".
More top news
Tributes have been paid to a young BBC Radio presenter who lost his battle with skin cancer aged just 33.
David Cameron is to put working people "front and centre" of his economic plan our economic plan" if the Conservatives win the election.
Nearly 38,000 runners will hope to complete Sunday's London Marathon making it the biggest event in its 35-year history.