Most polluted cities in India mapped

Air pollution

The WHO data also said that nine out of 10 people in the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.

Varanasi: In terms of PM2.5 in 2016, Varanasi was the third most polluted city in the world with an annual average of 151 ug/m3.

The data has revealed that India has 14 out 15 most polluted cities in the world.

The PM2.5 includes pollutants like sulfate, nitrate and black carbon, which pose the greatest risk to human health. The second largest city of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Kanpur, attained global infamy after the World Health Organisation (WHO) placed it on top of a list of 4,300 world cities monitored for their air pollution levels in the year 2016.

With an average PM2.5 level of 138, Lucknow has become one of the most polluted cities in the world, and this is nothing to be proud of!

The new figures were released by the WHO along with the revelation that a staggering 9 out of 10 people around the world are still breathing polluted air, causing around 7 million deaths around the globe every year.

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Most of the polluting cities in India are concentrated in the Northern region.

Referring to the report, which highlighted observations by experts who suggested that action similar to that taken in Delhi and NCR be also taken in other polluted cities, the ministry said the CPCB has taken action in the matter. The WHO also said that the countries are also taking the required measures to curb the negative effects.

"Air pollution needs to be brought under control with urgent and effective action". These fine particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system and as a result can cause many diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections including pneumonia.

The pollution levels in these cities is scary and is responsible for most of the health hazards one faces.

"We know there is a strong link between poor air quality and heart health with nearly six in ten global deaths (58%) related to outdoor air pollution caused by a heart attack or stroke". Majority are the African and Asian countries.

Major sources of air pollution from particulate matter include inefficient use of energy by households, industry, agriculture and transport sectors, and coal-fired power plants. During these months, in addition to local emissions, there was a substantial contribution from regional sources, including smoke due to stubble burning in neighbouring states and dust from Gulf countries.

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