Air pollution is a pressing global environmental issue that significantly impacts the health and well-being of urban populations worldwide. Millions of premature deaths occur annually due to the detrimental effects of polluted air, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In this article, we delve into the top-10 most polluted cities across the globe, shedding light on the root causes and severe consequences of their deteriorating air quality.
The Most Polluted City in the World
Based on data from the Swiss Group IQAir, New Delhi, India, stands at the summit of the world’s most polluted cities. With an alarming Air Quality Index (AQI) of 483, New Delhi not only leads the list of the most polluted cities globally but also tops the chart for the most polluted cities in India.
Unfortunately, New Delhi remains the worst-affected city worldwide, closely followed by Lahore in Pakistan and Kolkata in India.
The citizens of these cities face severe discomfort as they grapple with breathing in contaminated air, experiencing eye irritation, and scratchy throats.
In some monitoring stations, the AQI has soared to over 550, posing a grave risk to public health.
Top 10 Most Polluted Cities Worldwide
Here’s a comprehensive list of the top-10 most polluted cities in the world, along with their respective AQI scores:
- Delhi, India – AQI: 483
- Lahore, Pakistan – AQI: 371
- Kolkata, India – AQI: 206
- Dhaka, Bangladesh – AQI: 189
- Karachi, Pakistan – AQI: 162
- Mumbai, India – AQI: 162
- Shenyang, China – AQI: 159
- Hangzhou, China – AQI: 159
- Kuwait City, Kuwait – AQI: 155
- Wuhan, China – AQI: 152
Understanding the Air Quality Index (AQI)
The Air Quality Index serves as a standardized measurement that evaluates the air quality in a specific region.
It provides a straightforward means to gauge the extent of air pollution and its potential health consequences on a given day.
The AQI plays a vital role in informing the public, government agencies, and policymakers, enabling them to make informed decisions concerning air quality and take necessary actions to safeguard public health.
AQI Categories and Health Effects
The AQI categorizes air quality into the following segments, each linked to specific health implications:
- Good (0 – 50): Satisfactory air quality.
- Satisfactory (51 – 100): May cause minor discomfort for sensitive individuals.
- Moderately Polluted (101 – 200): May induce breathing difficulties in people with respiratory conditions and heart disease.
- Poor (201 – 300): Could lead to breathing discomfort for sensitive individuals.
- Very Poor (301 – 400): May result in respiratory illness and severe health consequences.
- Severe (401 – 500): Poses a severe health risk, affecting even healthy individuals.
In conclusion, the presence of these polluted cities underscores the urgent need for comprehensive measures to combat air pollution and safeguard the health of their residents.
It’s imperative to address the root causes of air pollution to create cleaner and healthier environments for urban populations globally.
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