15 Of World’s 20 Most Polluted Cities Are In India: Study
Fifteen of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India, with Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida and Bhiwadi in the top six, according to a new study. India's national capital region (NCR) emerged as the most polluted region in the world in last year, data compiled in the report show.
The IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report, prepared in collaboration with Greenpeace Southeast Asia, showed the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 18 are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
India has 15 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, with Gurgaon and Ghaziabad being the most polluted cities, followed by Faridabad, Bhiwadi and Noida being in the top six, with Delhi on the 11th spot.
China's capital Beijing, once among the most polluted cities in the world, ranked 122nd in the list of the most polluted cities in 2018, based on the PM2.5 data, but is still at least five times more polluted than the World Health Organization annual safety limits of 10µg/m3.
"Industries, households, cars, and trucks emit complex mixtures of air pollutants, many of which are harmful to health. Of all of these pollutants, fine particulate matter has the greatest effect on human health," the report said, pointing out the major reasons behind air pollution.
"Most fine particulate matter comes from fuel combustion, both from mobile sources such as vehicles and from stationary sources such as power plants, industry, households, agriculture or biomass burning," the report added.
‘Air pollution from stubble burning costs India $30 bn annually’
Another global report has indicated air pollution due to crop residue burning causes Punjab, Haryana and Delhi an estimated economic loss of $30 billion annually.
It is a leading risk factor of acute respiratory infections, especially among children, according to the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The study found that living in districts with air pollution from intense crop residue burning (CRB) is a leading risk factor for acute respiratory infection (ARI), particularly in children less than five years of age.
"Among other factors, smoke from the burning of agricultural crop residue by farmers in Haryana and Punjab especially contributes to Delhi's poor air, increasing the risk of ARI three-fold for those living in districts with intense crop burning," Samuel Scott, IFPRI Research Fellow and co-author of the study, said.
With inputs from Housing News