India’s northern city of Kanpur tops the list of world cities with the highest PM2.5 level according to global air pollution database released by World Trade Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday. PM 2.5 is small but deadly air particles, which can increase the likelihood of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
The study covered over 4,000 cities in 100 countries in terms of PM 10 and PM 2.5 averages from 2010 to 2016.
Fourteen Indian cities feature in the 15 cities with the dirtiest air in the WHO´s global list. Delhi, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala, and Jodhpur are the other Indian cities registered very high levels of PM 2.5 pollutants.
Kanpur’s PM 2.5 annual average was 173 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) and Delhi’s P M 2.5 annual average was 143ug/m3.
Ali Subah Al-Salem in Kuwait and several Chinese cities have also featured in the list. According to the WHO’s database, Mumbai is the world’s fourth most polluted megacity.
The WHO report said more than 90 percent of the world´s people are breathing dangerous levels of pollutants that killed some seven million people in 2016.
“It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people – most of them women and children – are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes. If we don’t take urgent action on air pollution, we will never come close to achieving sustainable development,” BBC reports quoting Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO as saying.