New Delhi is world's most polluted capital

New Delhi is world's most polluted capital

A new report by IQAir AirVisual has revealed that 15 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India.

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

According to the report given out by Greenpeace, India has highlighted that the alarming increase in air pollution may cause 7 million premature deaths globally next year due to unequal distribution of PM2.5 particles contributing to air pollution. This indicates that the air pollution in our cities has not come down over the years, despite many mitigative actions from local governments.

Overall, 64% of the 3,000 cities covered in the report surpassed the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on PM2.5 exposure, which includes pollutants such as sulphate, nitrate and black carbon among others.

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Air quality in cities in the U.S. and Canada were made dramatically worse by historic wildfires between August and November. While, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Bahrain and Kuwait topped the chart, countries like Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Australia and Sweden were among the least polluted as per the 2018's World Air Quality Report. 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.

India, the world's fastest-growing major economy, has not made much progress in terms of curbing air pollution even in 2018.

AirVisual and Greenpeace said the reduction was a result of the "extensive monitoring networks" and effective "air pollution reduction policies" rolled out by Chinese authorities in recent years. Along with the death toll arising with these pollution figures, there's an estimated cost of United States dollars 225 billion in lost labour and trillions in medical costs.

"We want this report to make people think about the air we breathe, because when we understand the impacts of air quality on our lives, we will act to protect what's most important".

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