India dominates list of world's most polluted cities

Gurgaon. Image source

Gurgaon. Image source

Polluted air presents the world's 4th leading contributing cause of early deaths, and burdens the global economy with an estimated annual cost of United States dollars 225 billion.

The city's average PM2.5 level a year ago was 40.8 micrograms per cubic meter of air as opposed to 45.8 in 2017, according to Switzerland-based air quality monitor IQAir AirVisual's 2018 World Air Quality Report.

A staggering 64 per cent exceeded the World Health Organisation's guideline for annual exposure to fine particulate matter, or PM2.5.

Lucknow. Image source
Lucknow. Image source

Greenpeace released the latest air pollution data today with a warning that seven million people will die around the world over the next year because of air pollution.

After Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwandi, Noida, Patna, Lucknow, New Delhi, Jodhpur and Muzaffarpur are the ten most polluted cities in India and make up for the top 13 globally, as per the report. Moreover, Delhi was tagged as the most polluted capital in the world with an average PM 2.5 concentration at 113.5 micrograms per cubic metre.

Pedestrians wearing face mask against air pollution walk on a road in heavy fog in Dalian city, northeast China's Liaoning province. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world, according to the AirVisual dataset, with PM 2.5 levels falling more than 40% since 2013.

Greenpeace also revealed city-based data and the first position is again occupied by India with its two cities followed by Pakistan.

Gurugram, in northern India, was found to have the worst air of any city in the world, with Faisalabad in Pakistan in third and Hotan, China, in eighth.

"Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures, but we can change that".

The executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia said that these high pollution numbers can have enormous impacts on health and even our wallets. In addition to human lives lost, there's an estimated global cost of $225 billion in lost labor, and trillions in medical costs. It also misrepresented the EPA's Air Quality Index. Of the countries analysed, Iceland emerged as the one with the cleanest air. The top three is completed by Cluj-Napoca and the mountain city of Brasov, while the capital Bucharest is at number four.

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