According to a recent study, air pollution is fatal; in fact, it reduces human longevity by three years on average, which is more than the worldwide effect of smoking on a lifetime. There is no such thing as a safe level of pollution. Still, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established a target of 10 micrograms per cubic metre (g/m3) for fine particulate matter (also known as PM2.5 particles), which it claims reduces the risk of detrimental health impacts.
Pollution Data is provided by IQAir is a Swiss air quality technology company, specializing in protection against airborne pollutants, developing air quality monitoring and air cleaning products.
Countries With The Dirtiest Air 2021
1.Bangladesh: 77.1 µg/m3
In 2020, Bangladesh had the highest levels of PM2.5 pollution in the world, averaging 77.1 g/m3. While this decreases from the previous year’s level of 83.3 g/m3, the levels are still dangerous for the general public. The problem is the worst in Dhaka, which, despite the lockdown, remains the world’s second most polluted capital. Pollution levels in other cities monitored by IQAir haven’t improved significantly either. The government has attempted to implement measures such as fines for polluters and encouraging the use of lower-emission brick kilns, but campaigners argue that these are insufficient.
2.Pakistan: 59 µg/m3
According to IQAir, Pakistan was the second most polluted country globally in 2020. Pollution is responsible for 22 percent of deaths each year, according to a 2015 report published in the medical journal Lancet. The Punjab Clean Air Action Plan, which advocated emission-reducing technologies and the construction of Smog Response Desks, was executed by the court-appointed Smog Commission in May 2018. However, Amnesty International thinks that it is insufficient. “The Pakistani government must do much more to address such a major public health crisis effectively,” said advocate Rimmel Mohydin.
3.India: 51.9 µg/m3
In India, pollution tends to worsen during the winter, when the air over the city becomes cool, dry, and motionless, allowing pollution to settle more easily. Simultaneously, some inhabitants use open fires for cooking and warmth, which exacerbates the problem by releasing ash and dust. With an average PM2.5 concentration of 84.1 g/m3, New Delhi is the world’s most polluted capital city. However, this is a significant improvement above the country’s 2019 levels of 98.6 g/m3, demonstrating the significant impact of the country’s severe shutdown limits. In 2020, the average PM2.5 concentration in India was 51.9 g/m3.
4.Mongolia: 46.6 µg/m3
In the winter, few places have more toxic air than Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, when pollution levels can exceed 133 times those recommended by the World Health Organization. In May 2019, the government, faced with a public health issue, banned coal burning in the capital to lower pollution levels. The government promotes people to use a product produced of semicoke, a by-product of coal, as an alternative heat source because it burns for twice as long and emits fewer emissions. And it appears that the pandemic year had a good impact on airborne particles, which fell from an unsafe level of 62 g/m3 in 2019 to 46.6 g/m3 in 2020.
5.Afghanistan: 46.5 µg/m3
People in Afghanistan are more likely to die due to air pollution than as a result of civil fighting. According to the Afghanistan Research Center, there were 26,000 deaths caused by air pollution-related ailments in 2017, compared to 3,483 deaths caused by combat. The situation is exacerbated by the mountains that encircle Kabul, the capital, trap filthy air and dust. In addition, the poor quality of fuel used by many homes and businesses exacerbates the problem, and even before the outbreak, citizens donned face masks when they went outside. According to IQAir, the lockdown has improved air quality, with PM2.5 levels dropping from 58.8 g/m3 in 2019 to 46.5 g/m3 in 2020.
6.Oman: 44.4 µg/m3
This year is Oman’s first appearance in the IQAir World Air Quality Report, and the Arab world’s oldest independent state is also its most polluted. Rapid economic development, increased living conditions, and denser urban populations have contributed to the sultanate’s high level of air pollution, which now stands at 44.4 g/m3. Coastal areas are among the most affected, as pollution is exacerbated by a mix of industrial concentration and unfavourable natural conditions. Sohar City on the northern shore and Muscat, Oman’s capital, are good examples of this.
7.Qatar: 44.3 µg/m3
Despite the fact that air pollution has long been a problem in Qatar, this is the first year it has been included in the IQAir World Air Quality Report. Qatar’s air quality was so severe at the start of 2021 that it was designated “unhealthy for vulnerable groups.” According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Qatar has the world’s third-biggest natural gas reserves, accounting for roughly 12.5 percent of worldwide reserves. It is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, according to 2019 figures. Therefore, Qatar’s poor air quality is largely due to the exploration, production, and manufacture of this gas.
8.Kyrgyzstan: 43.5 µg/m3
Corruption is rampant in Kyrgyzstan, but its impact on the country’s populace is overshadowed by the country’s deteriorating air quality. In 2019, Kyrgyzstan reported average PM2.5 values of 33.2 g/m3, which IQAir classified as “moderate,” but the country defied worldwide trends and saw air quality drop to a level that is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in 2020. Bishkek, the capital, is particularly vulnerable to high levels of air pollution-induced by industrial growth, increased energy output, and urban development, with many “hazardous” levels of air pollution reported in November 2019.
9.Indonesia: 40.7 µg/m3
The Air Quality Life Index published research on the effects of air pollution in Indonesia in 2019, stating that the typical Indonesian loses 1.2 years of life expectancy due to pollution. This figure can be as high as four years in the worst-affected areas. Every year, pollution forces schools to lock their doors for a period of time because the air quality is deemed “dangerous” by regulators. However, images clearly demonstrate the impact that a reduction in people’s movements caused by the COVID-19 epidemic has had on air quality in Jakarta, with pollution levels dropping from 51.70 g/m3 in 2019 to 40.7 g/m3 in 2020.
10.Bosnia and Herzegovina: 40.6 µg/m3
The dense haze and pollution that engulfed Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo in January 2020 were so awful that the Swedish embassy labelled it “in a category of its own.” According to the United Nations, large coal power plants emit sulphur dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere, with 44,000 years of life expectancy lost each year due to particulate matter or nitrogen dioxide in the country. Before the outbreak, the government barred diesel vehicles from Sarajevo’s city centre and even advised inhabitants to wear protective masks. Even the coronavirus quarantine hasn’t been able to reduce air pollution in this Balkan country.