IQAir Quality Report 2020: India Is In The Top Most Polluted Cities In The World Ranking
Based on a report issued on Tuesday (16/03/2021), despite the COVID-19 lockdown, lethal small particle pollution in a bunch of countries surpassed the recommendations by WHO (World Health Organization)last year. During the lockdown period in 2020 with the complete or partial shutdown of industry and transport for a couple of months lowered the average levels of PM2.5 pollution all around the world, even in major towns, according to IQAir quality report. The accumulation of the deadly pollutants released due to fossil fuel combustion and traffic pollution-dipped 16% in Seoul, 16% in London, 15% in New Delhi, 13% in Chicago, and 11% in Beijing.
Compared to 2019, a minimum of 60% of Indian cities was quite breathable in 2020. Last year, all cities had much cleaner air when compared to 2018.
Apart from Delhi, the rest of the most polluted cities are Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Dharuhera in Haryana, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Gurugram, Bandhwari, Fatehabad, Hisar, Jind, Faridabad, Bhiwadi in Rajasthan, Muzaffarnagar & Agra in Uttar Pradesh, Meerut, Lucknow, Kanpur, Greater Noida, Noida, Bisrakh Jalalpur, Bulandhshahar, and Ghaziabad.
According to the report, the top most polluted town is Xinjiang in China followed by 9 Indian cities.
The major causes of air pollution in India are episodic agricultural combustion, waste burning, construction, industry, electricity generation, biomass combustion for cooking, and transportation.
Lauri Myllyvirta, co-writer of the report & chief analyst, CREA (Centre for Research on Energy & Clean Air) stated that several parts of the world faced extraordinary-yet short-lived-ameliorations in air quality in last years. This inferred that tens of thousands of fatality were avoided due to air pollution.
However, just 24 out of 106 nations assessed met WHO safety norms, claimed the report, according to the world’s biggest database of terrestrial air pollution measurements.
Several South Asian countries and China faced PM2.5 pollution much greater than thresholds recommended by WHO, and in few parts, the amount was 6-8 times greater.
22 of the world’s worst polluted cities are in India.
Afghanistan, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh topped the 2020 list, with several yearly PM2.5 concentrations around 77 & 47 mcg/m3 (microgrammes per cubic meter) of air.
Deeps into the lungs
The United Nations claims that PM2.5 shouldn’t top 10 mcg/m3 averages throughout a whole year or 25 mcg/m3 in any 24-hour time.
Last year’s most polluted capital towns globally were Beijing, Hanoi, Islamabad, Kathmandu, Jakarta, Dhaka (77 mcg/m3), and New Delhi (84 mcg/m3) all in the top 20.
Around 50% of the entire European cities surpassed the limits recommended by WHO.
Along with the tag of being the hottest year by climate variation, last year’s air pollution levels were worse, according to the report.
In Australia, South America, and California, extremely high pollution levels were indicated as a result of scorching heatwaves and wildfires.
Data from the first couple of months showed PM2.5 air pollution going back to pre-pandemic levels.
ESA (European Area Agency) announced Monday that the concentration of other heath-deteriorating air pollutants dropped in 2020, NO2 (nitrogen oxide), has rebounded as well, and in few regions globally, is on the rise.
After lowering, for instance, around 40% last February in Chinese major cities Chongqing and Beijing, NO2 levels rebounded last month to 2019 levels in Beijing, and almost doubled from 2019 levels in Chongqing.
Claus Zehner, Mission Manager, Copernicus Sentinel-5P Earth Monitoring Satellite, ESA asserted in a statement that they anticipated air pollution to bounce as curfews are changed throughout the globe. In the next few weeks and months, they anticipate a rise in NO2 concentrations well over Europe.
Air contamination reduces lives worldwide by virtually 3 years on average and triggers greater than eight million sudden deaths annually, earlier researches have found.
The WHO determines 4.2 million fatalities from outside air pollution however, has undervalued the effect on heart disease, a recent research study has revealed.
The average life-span is reduced by 3.8 years in Pakistan, 3.9 years in India & 4.1 years in China. Life expectancy is reduced by 8 months in Europe.
PM2.5 particles invade deep into the lungs and penetrate the bloodstream. In 2013, WHO categorized it as a carcinogen. Compared to the rest of the reasons for sudden deaths, air pollution globally kills 19 times more individuals annually than malaria, 9 times more than HIV/AIDS & 3 times more than alcohol.
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