Dhaka is world's most polluted city
Published : Friday, 26 February, 2021 at 7:04 PM Count : 492
The densely populated capital of Bangladesh continues to dominate the list of world cities with the worst air quality, reports UNB.
On Friday, Dhaka occupied the first position in the list. The city of Beijing in China occupied the second place. The third and fourth spots were grabbed by Kathmandu of Nepal and Delhi of India, respectively.
Dhaka's air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 237 around 2:00am, which is considered '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.
AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, is used by government agencies to inform people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the overall AQI is based on five criteria pollutants – Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and Ozone (O3).
Generally, Dhaka's air starts getting fresh when monsoon rains begin in mid-June. The air remains mostly acceptable from June to October.
In February last year, Bangladesh's Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin admitted that air pollution levels in the capital "has reached an extreme level."
"This is mainly due to uncontrolled discharge of dust from construction projects, smoke from vehicles and brick kilns," he told UNB.
"Brick kilns are responsible for 58% of air pollution in the capital. There are plans to shut down (traditional) kilns in operation. We plan to stop burning bricks at all kilns by 2025 and use block bricks to construct buildings under government projects," he said.
Over 80 percent 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.