IQAir’s Fifth World Air Quality Report: Key Findings

The fifth World Air Quality Report by IQAir shows that India is still facing a severe air pollution crisis. The report revealed that 39 Indian cities were among the world’s 50 most polluted cities based on PM2.5 levels in the air. This article will discuss the details of the report and its implications for public health and the environment in India.

Delhi: The most polluted metropolitan city

Delhi was ranked fourth on the list of the world’s most polluted cities, and it was also the most polluted metropolitan city in the world. The annual average PM2.5 level in Delhi was 92.6, almost 20 times the safe limit. This high level of air pollution can cause severe health issues like lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The primary source of air pollution in Delhi is vehicular emissions, industrial pollution, and construction activities.

Bhiwadi: The most polluted city in India

Bhiwadi in Rajasthan was the most polluted city in India and the third most polluted city in the world with an annual average PM2.5 level of 92.7. The high level of air pollution in Bhiwadi is due to the presence of industries and factories that emit harmful pollutants into the air. The residents of Bhiwadi are at risk of developing respiratory diseases, heart diseases, and cancer.

Other polluted cities in India

Apart from Delhi and Bhiwadi, many other Indian cities dominated the list of the world’s most polluted cities. These cities included Patna, Muzzaffarnagar, Dharbanga, Noida, Gurgaon, Bulandshahr, Meerut, Charkhi Dadri, Jind, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, and Hisar. The high levels of air pollution in these cities are primarily due to vehicular emissions, industrial pollution, and burning of agricultural waste.

Decline in pollution levels in Delhi’s neighboring towns

According to the report, there was a slight decline in pollution levels in Delhi’s neighboring towns of Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad. The decline ranged from 34% in Gurugram to 21% in Faridabad. This is an encouraging sign, but more needs to be done to reduce air pollution levels in these areas.

India’s ranking among other countries

Out of 131 countries, India ranked eighth with a population-weighted average PM2.5 level of 53.3 μg/m3 in 2022. India was preceded by Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, and Kuwait. The annual average for the country in 2022 was slightly lower than the 58.1 μg/m3 recorded in 2021. Although the slight decline is good news, India still has a long way to go to tackle air pollution and improve public health.



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