India dominates list of world's most polluted cities
06 March, 2019, 21:43 | Author: Amos Gonzales
Residents in India's capital city were exposed to more than ten times the safe amount of air pollution on an average day, a study has shown. The state capital was more polluted than Beijing which used to be the world's most polluted city some years back.
A staggering 64 per cent exceeded the World Health Organisation's guideline for annual exposure to fine particulate matter, or PM2.5.
Pedestrians wearing face mask against air pollution walk on a road in heavy fog in Dalian city, northeast China's Liaoning province.
A new report by IQAir AirVisual has revealed that 15 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India. The data says Delhi had an average yearly PM 2.5 concentration at 113.5 micrograms per cubic metre. Nagpur, the third most polluting city in the state, saw a decrease in the pollutant's level - from 56.2 mpcm in 2017 to 46.6 mpcm in 2018.
It added that as the need to reduce air pollution has become more pressing in countries like China, "extensive monitoring networks and air pollution reduction policies have been put into place".
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In other parts of the world, 10 cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo, plus four in Turkey had PM2.5 levels that were three times greater than the World Health Organization guidelines.
"Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures, but we can change that". In addition to human lives lost, there's an estimated global cost of $225 billion in lost labour, and trillions in medical costs.
"This has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets", Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said in a statement released with the figures. While, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Bahrain and Kuwait topped the chart, countries like Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Australia and Sweden were among the least polluted as per the 2018's World Air Quality Report.
The alarming revelations of the report make the successful implementation of environment ministry's National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) all the more important.
The Indian capital of Delhi, which has raised a million questions over the last two years with its pollution level breaking all limits, was placed at the 11th spot in the list.
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