India’s air quality may have improved a bit but a large number of cities continue to be in the top list of polluted cities across the world. On Tuesday, IQAir, a Swiss company, released its ‘World Air Quality Report’ which ranked India as the eighth most polluted country in 2022, indicating a drop from its previous ranking of fifth place. According to the report, 39 cities in India are among the world’s 50 most polluted cities.
While the PM 2.5 level has dipped to 53.3 micrograms/cubic metre, that is still over 10 times the World Health Organization’s safe limit. The data was collected from 131 countries.was released and it doesn’t look good for India. The list included 39
According to the data, the top 10 most polluted countries listed in the report are Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kuwait, India, Egypt and Tajikistan. On the other hand there were countries that managed to meet the PM2.5 guideline laid down by WHO. These nations were Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, and New Zealand.
Both Delhi and New Delhi featured in the top 10 most polluted cities followed by Kolkata by a wide margin. Whereas Chennai was relatively the cleanest with pollution ‘just’ 5x the WHO’s safe level. Meanwhile, cities like Hyderabad and Bengaluru both saw an increase in the pollution level since 2017.
According to the report the economic cost of air pollution in India is at $150 billion. Pollution caused by the transportation sector mounts to 20-35 percent of the PM 2.5 pollution. Some of the other sources of pollution are industrial units, coal-fired power plants and biomass burning.
The report also highlighted the health problems caused due to air pollution like asthma, cancer, lung illnesses, heart disease, and premature mortality. WHO has identified air pollution as the single biggest environmental threat to human health. According to data, every year, 7 million premature deaths are caused due to exposure to air pollution exposure