South Asia has four most polluted countries

06 March, 2019, 15:34 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • The world's dirtiest air is in India

Yeb Sano, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia is a statement said, "This (air pollution) has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets". "In addition to human lives lost, there's an estimated cost of $225 billion in lost labor, and trillions in medical costs".

The positive news was that air quality in Beijing has got better.

In a recent report by Greenpeace, Delhi has topped the list of most polluted capital in the world.

The only non-Indian city in the top five list is Faisalabad, Pakistan.

"(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. The World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guideline recommends an annual mean exposure threshold of 10 μg/m3 to minimize health risks.

South Asia has the highest population density of any region within Asia, which itself is the most densely populated continent on earth. Of the countries analysed, Iceland emerged as the one with the cleanest air.

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"We are enduring this but our bodies are still suffering from it".

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has focused on delivering economic growth in a bid to boost employment and drag millions out of poverty. 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.

The report showed Bangladesh was the most polluted country on average, closely followed by Pakistan and India. However, the number of Chinese cities with high pollution is still substantial.

Under President Xi Jinping, China's ruling Communist Party has pledged to wage a "war" on the country's chronic air, water and land pollution.

"China's skies remain grey but progress is impressive".

The report is based on 2018 air quality data from public monitoring sources, such as government monitoring networks, supplemented with validated data from outdoor IQAir AirVisual monitors operated by private individuals and organisations.

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