The world's dirtiest air is in India, East Asia News & Top Stories

The world's dirtiest air is in India, East Asia News & Top Stories

While China's Beijing, which used to be considered as the most polluted city in the world, has shown remarkable improvement in air quality and ranked 122nd in the list.

Air pollution is estimated to contribute to 7 million premature deaths every year and is considered by the United Nations to be the single biggest environmental health risk.

Greenpeace also revealed city-based data and the first position is again occupied by India with its two cities followed by Pakistan. In addition, increasing incidents of massive forest fires also account for a major share in pushing global air pollution levels even higher. The graphic has been updated. Moreover, Delhi was tagged as the most polluted capital in the world with an average PM 2.5 concentration at 113.5 micrograms per cubic metre.

Gurgaon which is located in India's capital New Delhi, is the most polluted city in the world, according to data released by IQ Air Visual and Greenpeace.

The executive director of Greenpeace South East Asia, Yeb Sano, said: "Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures, but we can change that". PM 2.5 includes pollutants such as sulphate, nitrate and black carbon. It is widely regarded as the pollutant with the most health impact of all commonly measured air pollutants.

"A lot of households in South Asia rely on solid fuels, sometimes biomass, often coal, for their cooking and heating ... and there are often cities with large scale industries with poor emissions controls", he added.

Other Indian cities that made their debut in the top five are Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Bhiwandi. Accompanying the report is an extended display of all the cities on the most-polluted list and their relative air qualities across different regions and sub-regions in 2018.

But 64 percent of the cities surveyed exceeded this guideline.

"(The report) is a reminder to us indicating that our efforts and actions to reduce the invisible killer, i.e., air pollution are not enough, and we need to do much more than already planned and done", Pujarini Sen, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace India said.

The alarming revelations of the report make the successful implementation of environment ministry's National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) all the more important.

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