New Delhi is world’s most polluted capital

The Daily Star graphic

The Daily Star graphic

Delhi remains the most polluted capital across the world in 2018, as per a study conducted by the environment NGO Greenpeace. As a whole, India stands third among the most polluted countries in the world, after Pakistan and Bangladesh.

What's alarming, according to the report, is that air pollution is likely to cause the death of an estimated seven million lives globally in the next year while costing the world's economy almost $ 225 billion.

PM 2.5 is the calculation of the fine particulate matter. The report has analysed eight cities of the state based on 2018 air quality data from public monitoring sources, including government as well as private monitoring networks.

Overall, 64% of the 3,000 cities covered in the report surpassed the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on PM2.5 exposure, which includes pollutants such as sulphate, nitrate and black carbon among others. However, out of China's 50 cities, 22 cities are in the list already with Hotan ranked as number eight with a PM 2.5 2018 average of 116. According to the list, one Chinese city (Hota) and two Pakistani cities (Lahore and Faisalabad) made it to the top 10 with India.

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.

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Swiss company AirVisual has been providing air quality data in real time since 2015. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world in 2018 and China, the 12th most polluted country in the world.

"This has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets".

IQAir Chief Executive Officer Frank Hammes said, "The 2018 World Air Quality Report is based on the review, compilation and validation of data from tens of thousands of air quality monitoring stations around the world".

"We want this report to make people think about the air we breathe, because when we understand the impacts of air quality on our lives, we will act to protect what's most important". The programme launched this January aims to reduce air pollution by 20-30% from the current level in 102 cities across the country by 2024.

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