Top 100 most polluted cities in 2018

Top 100 most polluted cities in 2018

New Delhi was the world's most polluted capital city in 2018, two groups monitoring air pollution said on Tuesday in a study of the amount of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 in 61 capital cities around the world.

2018's World Air Quality Report was based on data gathered from over 3,000 cities around the globe.

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 past year. Data from a selection of validated outdoor IQAir AirVisual air quality monitors operated by private individuals and organisations have also been included.

"You do have other places with similar levels of emissions, but because you have far fewer people [there] it doesn't lead to this kind of... catastrophic level of air pollution", he said.

Other Indian cities that made their debut in the top five are Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Bhiwandi.

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India is home to 15 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, they said. The topper of the list and the victor of the "most polluted city" tag was Gurugram (or Gurgaon), which lies in the NCR region of the country. However, out of China's 50 cities, 22 cities are in the list already with Hotan ranked as number eight with a PM 2.5 2018 average of 116.

In total, authors found that 64 per cent of world cities exceeded WHO guidelines, with 100 per cent of measured cities in the Middle East and Africa breaking the limit.

What's adding more fuel to the fire are the amplifying effects of climate change on air pollution.

IQAir Chief Executive Officer Frank Hammes said, "The 2018 World Air Quality Report is based on the review, compilation and validation of data from tens of thousands of air quality monitoring stations around the world". Climate change alters atmospheric conditions in multiple ways, for instance, reducing the wind speed that prevents pollutants from dispersing. Of the countries analysed, Iceland emerged as the one with the cleanest air. The programme launched this January aims to reduce air pollution by 20-30% from the current level in 102 cities across the country by 2024.

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