• Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Dhaka tops list of most polluted cities, again

  • Published at 06:10 pm January 22nd, 2021
Air Pollution-Dhaka
File photo shows a glimpse of air pollution in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan

Dhaka’s air quality index (AQI) read 216 on Friday, ranking it as the capital city with the worst air quality in the world, followed by Vietnam’s Hanoi and Afghanistan’s Kabul

Dhaka continues to dominate the list of cities with the worst air quality in the world.

On Friday, it was on the top of the list once again. The capital city's air quality index (AQI) at 10:32 am read 216, which is qualified as “poor” and “very unhealthy.”

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered “poor,” while a reading of 301 to 400 is said to be “hazardous,” posing serious health risks to city residents.

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and Kabul in Afghanistan occupied the second and third places in the list of cities with the worst air quality, with AQI scores of 209 and 205, respectively.

AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, is used by government agencies to inform the general public of how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, as well as any associated health effects that may be a concern.

In Bangladesh, the overall AQI is based on five criteria pollutants – Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), Nitrogen Oxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), and Ozone (O3).

Bangladesh has a subtropical monsoon climate, characterized by wide seasonal variations including rainfall, high temperatures and humidity.

Generally, Dhaka’s air starts to achieve fresh qualities when monsoon rain begins from mid-June. The air remains mostly acceptable from June to October.

Air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for death and disability worldwide. Breathing polluted air has long been recognized as increasing a person’s chances of developing heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, lung infections, and cancer, according to several studies. 

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

 Over 80% of people living in urban areas which monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO guideline limits, with low- and middle-income countries most at risk.