According to the study, Gurugram, located at Southwest of New Delhi, is the world’s most polluted city in 2018. Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida and Bhiwadi are the top six worst-affected cities. However, its score improved from the previous year, according to data released.
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The other three cities are- Hotan in China and Lahore and Faislabad in Pakistan. Delhi is at number 11 on the pollution chart.
The new report is based on a study of 3000 cities, measures the presence of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5, a pollutant that can fester deep in the lungs and bloodstream of human beings. Experts say exposure to PM2.5 pollution increases the risk of lung cancer, stroke, heart attack and respiratory diseases, including asthma symptoms among all age groups.
Worryingly, Air Pollution is likely to cause the death of an estimated seven million lives globally while it costing the world’s economy nearly $ 225 billion, the report shows, released on Tuesday morning in Jakarta.
According to the World Bank “India, the world’s fastest-growing economy, marked 22 of the top 30 most polluted cities, with five in China, two in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh. India registers health-care costs and productivity losses from pollution of as much as 8.5% of GDP.
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China had registered a massive progress in its pollution level, falling by 12% in 2018 from the previous year. China has made a remarkable improvement since 2013, when its capital Beijing topped the pollution charts but according to the new study, the country’s pollution levels have gone down by 40%.
Beijing, once considered the most polluted city in the world, has shown remarkable improvement in air quality and ranked 122nd in the list last year, the report compiled in the IQ Air Visual 2018 World Air Quality Report by Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
There are only two Chinese cities now in the top 20 most polluted cities- Hotan and Kashgar- both in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China.
“Out of the over 3000 cities included, 64% exceeded the WHO’s annual exposure guideline (10μg/m3) for fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5. Every single one of measured cities with data in the Middle East and Africa exceeded this guideline while 99% of cities in South Asia, 95% of cities in Southeast Asia and 89% of cities in East Asia also exceed this level” the report said.