Kanpur is world’s most polluted city: Guinness World Records 2020

The city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh held the title for the world’s most polluted city in the latest edition of Guinness World Records. The book, ‘Guinness World Records 2020’, lists thousands of new record titles and holders that will educate curious readers of all age groups. It is released annually by publisher Penguin Random House. This year, about 80 record breaking achievements by Indians that have made it to latest edition of book.

Kanpur: The Most Polluted City in the World

A report by World Health Organization (WHO) analyzed that the most polluted city in the world is Kanpur in northern India, with an average PM2.5 level of 173 micrograms/m3 for the year 2016. This PM2.5 level is more than 17 times higher than WHO recommended maximum of 10 micrograms/m3.

What is PM2.5?

 It refers to atmospheric particulate matter(PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (i.e. nearly 3% diameter of a human hair). The PM2.5 are very small particles like dust, soot and ash and the prolonged exposure of it can cause cancer, lung and heart conditions.

Cause of PM2.5 pollution: Some PM2.5 particles are emitted directly from a source, like construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires while most particles form in atmosphere as a result of complex chemical reactions like SO2 and NO2, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.

NOTE: Out of the world’s 20 most PM2.5-polluted cities, 14 are in India.

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