Environment

Cities With The Worst Air Quality In Asia

Cities in Pakistan, India, and China have some of the worst air quality in Asia.

Air pollution is an environmental problem affecting many people across the world, and according to WHO, it causes the death of over two million people annually. The fine particulate matter is the most dangerous air pollutant which causes five percent of all the respiratory failure deaths. The high particulate matter (PM10) concentration in Asia has prompted numerous nations like China to come up with their air quality standards which help them moderate pollution. According to WHO air Pollution in China is as bad as it is in India, but the particulate concentration in China, Indonesia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Myanmar has been moderate for years now.

The Worst Air Quality In Asia

India

Air pollution is a significant problem in India which has caused the premature death of many Indians for decades. Recent WHO reports confirmed that Gwalior’s air is the most polluted in Asia. The rate of PM10 in Gwalior is 329 microgram per cubic meters which is sixty times above the recommended concentration. The leading cause of pollution in Gwalior is burning of fossil fuel and garbage. Gwalior is ranked third in Asia followed by Allahabad with a mean PM10 average of about 317 microgram per cubic meters. Allahabad residents deal with coal-burning power plants, changing wind patterns, and vehicle emissions which have raised the PM10 level in the city. Nineteen Indian cities have been ranked among the Asian cities with the worst air quality.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s air is the most polluted in Asia with Peshawar and Rawalpindi having the highest level of particulate matter in the continent. Air pollution causes over 20,000 premature deaths in Pakistan annually. WHO ranked Peshawar as the second most polluted urban area globally right behind Onitsha. Rawalpindi has a PM10 rate of about 423 micrograms per cubic meters making it the fourth most polluted city worldwide. Other cities featured in the top 30 most polluted cities in Asia include Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore. The main contributor to pollution is the industrial activities in the country. The lack of air emission treatments and regulatory control over these industrial activities has polluted the air in Pakistan.

China

Air pollution in China has been a problem for decades now with the country consuming more coal than all the other Nations combined. Coal burning has been the leading cause of greenhouse gasses emission and pollution. According to WHO Shijiazhuang has the highest level of PM10 in China and ranks fifth in Asia at 305microgram per cubic meter. The primary source of air pollution in these cities includes dust, motor vehicle emissions, industrial emissions and coal burning among others. Other urban areas featured in the top thirty most polluted urban areas include Jinan, Xingtai, Baoding, and Xi’an. China has air quality standards which have helped them regulate the total suspended particulates in the air since 1982.

Adverse Effects of Air Pollution

A high PM10 level is one of the leading causes of respiratory and lung diseases. Air pollution causes the premature death of over two million people in the world every year, and in India alone it is responsible for over thirty percent of the premature deaths every year. The effects of these pollutants on our bodies depend on the duration of exposure. Long-term exposure affects the lungs of the growing children while deteriorating the medical conditions of the older people.

Cities With The Worst Air Quality In Asia

RankCity/TownCountryAverage mean PM10, ug/m3
1PeshawarPakistan540
2RawalpindiPakistan448
3GwaliorIndia329
4AllahabadIndia317
5ShijiazhuangChina305
6KarachiPakistan290
7RaipurIndia268
8DelhiIndia229
9LudhianaIndia228
10IslamabadPakistan217
11KanpurIndia215
12KhannaIndia213
13FirozabadIndia212
14LucknowIndia211
15AmritsarIndia202
16GobindgarhIndia201
17JinanChina199
18LahorePakistan198
19AgraIndia196
20XingtaiChina193
21NarayangonjBangladesh191
22BaodingChina190
23JodhpurIndia189
24Xi'anChina189
25DehradunIndia188
26JaipurIndia187
27HowrahIndia186
28FaridabadIndia184
29DhanbadIndia178
30BhopalIndia173

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