As per the World Air Quality Report 2018 released by IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace on March 5, 2019, seven of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India. India’s Gurugram led the list of most polluted cities in the world in 2018, followed by Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.
The main objective behind the report was to measure the presence of fine particulate matter known as Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5, which has been recorded in real-time in 2018. Exposure to PM 2.5 pollution increases the risk of lung cancer, stroke, heart attack and respiratory diseases, including asthma symptoms among all age groups.
1. Among the top 30 most polluted cities, India makes up for 22 with five in China, two in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh.
2. China made a remarkable improvement since 2013 as the country’s pollution levels have gone down by 40 percent. In 2013, Beijing topped the pollution charts. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world in 2018.
3. In US and Canada, historic wildfires had a dramatic impact on air quality in August and November 2018, with 5 out of 10 most polluted cities in the world during August 2018 found in North America.
4. The only non-Indian city in the top five list is Faisalabad, Pakistan.
5. In South Asia, out of 20 most polluted cities in the world, 18 are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
6. Delhi was ranked as the most polluted capital in the world, with Dhaka at second and Kabul at third position.
7. In Southeast Asia, Jakarta and Hanoi are the most polluted cities.
8. Massive populations of continental Africa and South America do not have adequate air quality measuring data.