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world’s most polluted cities: China, India lead the world with 88 highly polluted cities: Report

In 2020, India had 46 of the world’s 100 most polluted cities, followed by China (42), Pakistan (6), Bangladesh (4), Indonesia (1), and Thailand (1), according to air quality tracker IQAir. All these cities had a PM2.5 air-quality rating of more than 50.

India and China are leading the world with most polluted cities in the world. India has 46 most polluted cities, followed by 42 cities in China. Pakistan and Bangladesh have six and four cities which are amongst the 100 most polluted cities in the world.

Every year, a thick smog covers India’s capital New Delhi. Last week, it got so bad for the 20 million residents that authorities shut schools.

New Delhi’s concentration of PM2.5 particles, which damage people’s lungs, is 34 times the World Health Organization’s (WHO) acceptable levels. The toxic haze is especially bad during the winter as farmers burn stubble left in their fields.

How is air quality measured?

Air quality is determined by the levels of air pollutants PM2.5, PM10, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide.

Particulate matter (PM) comprises tiny particles that negatively impact health. PMs vary in size, most damaging are PM2.5 and PM10 – with a diameter of less than 2.5 μm and 10μm respectively. A human hair’s diameter is 50-70 μm.

PM2.5 levels lower than 12 are considered good, 55-150 unhealthy and 250 or above is hazardous.

The most polluted cities in the world

In 2020, India had 46 of the world’s 100 most polluted cities, followed by China (42), Pakistan (6), Bangladesh (4), Indonesia (1), and Thailand (1), according to air quality tracker IQAir. All these cities had a PM2.5 air-quality rating of more than 50.

Nine out of the top 10 most polluted cities are in India. Hotan, in western China’s Xinjiang, had the worst average air quality in 2020, with 110.2, according to Al-Jazeera.

INTERACTIVE- polluted cities

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