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Air Pollution: Country’s capital Delhi 1st in the list of world’s most polluted cities , Kolkata at 2nd

An analysis of air quality in more than 7,000 cities of the world also shows that the country's capital Delhi comes on top when it comes to PM 2.5 levels. Kolkata is second while Kano city of Nigeria is at number three. Mumbai was ranked 14th.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The wheel of development around the world is moving forward at such a speed that despite all the efforts, it is leaving behind a cloud of deadly air. Yes, at present people living in all the big cities of the world are breathing deadly air. An analysis of air quality in more than 7,000 cities of the world also shows that the country’s capital Delhi comes on top when it comes to PM 2.5 levels. Kolkata is second while Kano city of Nigeria is at number three.

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Top 10 cities in the world by annual average level of PM 2.5:

Sequence City and Country Annual Average PM 2.5 (Per Cubic Meter)- Delhi, India 110 Kolkata, India 84 Kano, Nigeria 83.6 Lima, Peru 73.2 Dhaka, Bogladesh 71.4 Jakarta, Indonesia 67.3 Algos, Nigeria 66.9 Karachi, Pakistan 63.6 Beijing, China 55 Accra, Ghana 51.9. Mumbai was ranked 14th. No other Indian city features in the top 20. In terms of the highest disease burden from a PM 2.5-related ailment, though, Beijing, with 124 attributable deaths per 100,000 people was the worst. Due to PM 2.5 pollution, Delhi came in at 6th, with 106 deaths per 100,000 and Kolkata at 8th with 99. Five Chinese cities were in the top 20.

The new report, titled Air Quality and Health in Cities, released Wednesday in Boston by the State of Global Air Initiative of the Health Effects Institute (HEI), a US-based research organization, provides a comprehensive and comprehensive overview of air pollution and global health impacts for more than 7,000 cities around the world. Provides detailed analysis. It focused on the two most harmful pollutants fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Although only 103, the most populous across six regions were considered for the ranking.

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In the year 2019, Delhi recorded an annual average PM 2.5 concentration of 110 micrograms per cubic metre, the highest among the world’s most populous cities. It is followed by Kolkata (84 micrograms per cubic metre). In terms of NO2 exposure, Shanghai was the worst in terms of average exposure, and no Indian city was in the top 20. In terms of absolute numbers, the study attributed 29,900 deaths in Delhi in 2019 to be due to PM 2.5 exposure; 21,380 in Kolkata; and 16,020 in Mumbai. In comparison, Beijing saw 26,270 deaths in 2019 on account of PM 2.5 exposure.

Almost all the most populous cities (81 out of 103 cities) reported NO2 pollution, higher than the global average of 15.5 micrograms per cubic metre. The report said that Shanghai in China had the highest pollution of NO2 in 2019 with 41.6 micrograms per cubic metre. NO2 is mainly released from the burning of fuels used for cooking and heating in old vehicles, power plants, industrial units and homes. Since city dwellers live close to busy roads with heavy traffic, they are often exposed to more NO2 pollution than residents of rural areas. In 2019, 86 percent of the 7,239 cities included in the report exceeded the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline for NO2 of 10 micrograms per cubic meter, affecting about 2.6 billion people.

One of the project coordinators, Dr. Susan Annenberg from George Washington University, said, “Since most cities around the world do not have ground-based air quality monitoring systems, it is important to plan for air quality management with estimated fine particulate and gas pollution.” level can be used. This will ensure that the air is clean and safe to breathe.” The report also highlighted data gaps in low- and middle-income countries, an important aspect of understanding and addressing the health effects of air pollution.

According to the WHO’s air quality database, currently only 117 countries have ground-level monitoring systems to track PM2.5, and only 74 nations are monitoring NO2 levels. Strategic investments in ground-level air quality monitoring systems and expanded use of satellites and other emerging technologies in target areas could be an important first step towards cleaner air.

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