Top 100 most polluted cities in 2018

Gurugram is world’s most polluted city in 2018 7 of top 10 are in India

"Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures", said Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Due to its small size, PM2.5 is able to penetrate deep into the human body, causing a wide range of health effects. As a whole, India stands third among the most polluted countries in the world, after Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Greenpeace released the latest air pollution data today with a warning that seven million people will die around the world over the next year because of air pollution. Apart from this, Faridabad, Bhiwadi, and Noida take the next three spots with average PM 2.5 readings of 129.1, 125.4 and 123.6 micrograms per cubic metre, respectively. It noted that although South Asian countries and China were the worst affected, air pollution is a global issue.

Gurugam topped the list as the world's most polluted city with PM2.5 soaring as high as 135.8 units in 2018. Out of the 20 most polluted cities worldwide, 18 were in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world previous year, 18 were from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world in 2018 and China, the 12th most polluted country in the world. While the research shows that no level of exposure is safe, the WHO standard of 10 units indicates the mean exposure threshold to minimise the health impacts.

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A further six fell within a "good" limit, meaning air quality poses little or no risk. "Common contributors of pollutants in South Asia include vehicle exhaust, open crop and biomass burning, industrial emissions and coal combustion", explains the report. Accompanying the report is an extended display of all the cities on the most-polluted list and their relative air qualities across different regions and sub-regions in 2018.

"(The report) is a reminder to us indicating that our efforts and actions to reduce the invisible killer, i.e., air pollution are not enough, and we need to do much more than already planned and done", Pujarini Sen, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace India said. To curb down the problem of poor air quality, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest has launched a programme called National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in Jan 2019.

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