Delhi, Kolkata Are The Most Polluted Cities In The World; Mumbai Ranks 14th: Report

New Delhi: Delhi and Kolkata are the two most polluted cities in the world in terms of average annual population-weighted PM 2.5 exposure, according to a recent study, “Air Pollution and Health in Cities,” published by the Health Effects Institute’s (HEI) State of Global Air Initiative.

The top two cities on the worldwide list were New Delhi and Kolkata, Mumbai came in at number 14, and Beijing had the highest disease burden linked to a PM 2.5-related illness.

Two of the major air pollutants in cities and metropolitan regions around the world are fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

PM2.5 consists of airborne, inhalable particles that are less than 2.5 micrometers (m) wide and are released by combustion of fossil fuels, factories, industries, car engines, fires, building site dust, etc.

Numerous illnesses, including cancer and strokes, as well as heart and respiratory conditions, can be brought on by exposure to this pollutant.

NO2 is a gas mostly produced by vehicles and industrial processes (when fossil fuel is burnt). The prolonged inhalation of this gas has been associated with deaths. The current WHO guideline for the annual average concentration of NO2 is 10 μg/m3.

There were no Indian cities in the top 20 in terms of population-weighted NO2 exposures in 2019. Shanghai, Moscow, and Tehran are the top three cities on this list.

The Air Quality and Health in Cities report, published by the State of Global Air, is a collaboration between the US-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease Project.

These are the top 20 most polluted cities in the world (PM2.5  and levels in μg/m3)

  1. Delhi, India (110)
  2. Kolkata, India (84)
  3. Kano, Nigeria (83.6)
  4. Lima, Peru (73.2)
  5. Dhaka, Bangladesh (71.4)
  6. Jakarta, Indonesia (67.3)
  7. Lagos, Nigeria (66.9)
  8. Karachi, Pakistan (63.6)
  9. Beijing, China (55)
  10. Accra, Ghana (51.9)
  11. Chengdu, China (49.9)
  12. Singapore, Singapore (49.4)
  13. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (47.4)
  14. Mumbai, India (45.1)
  15. Bamako, Mali (44.2)
  16. Shanghai, China (40.1)
  17. Dushanbe, Tajikistan (39.7)
  18. Tashkent, Uzbekistan (38)
  19. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (35.8)
  20. Cairo, Egypt (34.2)


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