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India, Bangladesh, And Pakistan Bottom In Air Quality Rankings In 2023, Reports

Indian pollution had increased last year, with PM2.5 levels about 11 times higher than the WHO standard. India’s New Delhi was the worst-performing capital city, at 92.7 micrograms

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The IQAir report was based on data from more than 30,000 monitoring stations in 134 countries and regions

Singapore: Pakistan remained one of the world’s three smoggiest countries in 2023, as Bangladesh and India replaced Chad and Iran, with particulate matter about 15 times the level recommended by the World Health Organization, data published on Tuesday (March 19) showed. Average concentrations of PM2.5 – small airborne particles that damage the lungs – reached 79.9 micrograms per cubic metre in Bangladesh in 2023, and 73.7 micrograms in Pakistan. The WHO recommends no more than 5 micrograms.

Christi Chester Schroeder, air quality science manager at IQAir, a Swiss air-monitoring organisation said,

Because of the climate conditions and the geography (in South Asia), you get this streak of PM2.5 concentrations that just skyrocket because the pollution has nowhere to go. On top of that are factors such as agricultural practices, industry and population density. Unfortunately, it really does look like it will get worse before it gets better.

Also Read, Air Pollution Linked To Higher Hospitalisations For Heart, Lung Diseases 

In 2022, Bangladesh was ranked as having the fifth-worst air quality, and India was eighth. Md Firoz Khan, an air pollution expert at Dhaka’s North South University,

About 20 per cent of premature deaths in Bangladesh are attributed to air pollution, and related healthcare costs amount to 4 per cent-5 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Indian pollution also increased last year, with PM2.5 levels about 11 times higher than the WHO standard. India’s New Delhi was the worst-performing capital city, at 92.7 micrograms.

China also saw PM2.5 rise 6.3 per cent to 32.5 micrograms last year, after five consecutive annual declines. Only Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius and New Zealand met WHO standards in 2023.

Also Read, How Useful Is The Air Quality Index?

The IQAir report was based on data from more than 30,000 monitoring stations in 134 countries and regions.

Chad, the world’s most polluted country in 2022, was excluded from the 2023 listings because of data issues. Iran and Sudan were also taken off the 2023 list.

Christa Hasenkopf, director of the Air Quality Life Index at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, said 39 per cent of countries have no public air quality monitoring.

Ms Schroeder said,

Considering the large potential benefits and relatively low cost, it’s stunning that we don’t have an organised global effort to deploy resources to close these data gaps, especially in places where the health burden of air pollution has been largest.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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