Delhi has the dirtiest air in the world: WHO
Delhi is polluted. No doubt. However, Its really a revelation to know that it has the most polluted air in the world. A WHO report, quantifying the levels of air pollution in 1600 cities of 91 countries across the world, makes it official.
- India is home to top 4 most air polluted cities in the world namely New Delhi, Patna, Gwalior and Raipur respectively as per a report by WHO.
- The study finds top 20 dirtiest cities to be Indian.
- The lethal New Delhi had an annual average of 153 micrograms of small particulates (the most worldover), known as PM2.5, per cubic metre.
- Delhi's reading was almost three times that of Beijing 59.
Points to Remember
- The alarming and consistent rise in air pollution has especially engulfed the growing cities of developing world, putting city-dwellers at higher risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
- Air pollution has killed about seven million people in 2012, making it the world's single biggest environmental health risk.
- Some 80 percent of those deaths came from heart attacks and strokes.
- Air quality is represented by annual mean concentration of fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5,– particles smaller than 10 or 2.5 microns).
- The database covers the period from 2008 to 2013, with the majority of values for the years 2011 and 2012.
The Cause for Concern
- Coal fired power plants,
- Rising use of automobiles
- Use of biomass for cooking and heating
- Inefficient use of energy in buildings
Does it paint a clear picture?
- There are many in India, particularly government officials, who are not buying the findings.
- The report is based on Chinese data from 2010, and the pollution levels have grown manifold since then.
- WHO was unable to collect data from most of the world's cities like for example only six African cities featured in the analysis.