Indian Cities Dominate World's Most Polluted List With 15 Among Top 20

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Seven of the world's 10 worst polluted cities are in India, a new study has revealed, with wider South Asia home to scores more blighted by dirty air.

"In mainland China, in particular, this has led to significant improvements in year-on-year reductions in PM2.5 levels", the groups said in their joint study.

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.

A further six fell within a "good" limit, meaning air quality poses little or no risk. Hotan in China and Lahore and Faisalabad in Pakistan make the other three.

Gurugram, in the National Capital Region, is the most polluted city in India and the world - with an average air quality index at 135.8, recorded previous year.

Lucknow. Image source
Lucknow. Image source

According to another report by Greenpeace on pollution, even if the country reduces PM10 levels that it targets to accomplish by 2024, India will still have 139 cities with hazardous pollution levels.

When ranked by country, Bangladesh emerged as the most polluted followed by Pakistan and India respectively.

Every single one of measured cities with data in the Middle East and Africa exceeded the World Health Organization guideline, while 99% of cities in South Asia, 95% of cities in Southeast Asia and 89% of cities in East Asia breached this level.

Delhi remains the most polluted capital across the world in 2018, as per a study conducted by the environment NGO Greenpeace. "Common contributors of pollutants in South Asia include vehicle exhaust, open crop and biomass burning, industrial emissions and coal combustion", explains the report.

The 2018 World Air Quality Report was based on information from over 3,000 cities. The reports highlight that 64% of these cities already exceed the current standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This showed that "climate change is making the effects of air pollution worse by changing atmospheric conditions and amplifying forest fires", Greenpeace said in a statement.

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