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Top 10 Most Polluted Cites in the World in 2024

By Akanksha - January 30, 2024 04:08 PM

The introduction or existence of pollutants that have the potential to harm the environment is known as pollution. Although there are many other types of pollution, air and water pollution are the two most common types. Sound, light, and soil pollution are a few examples.

Numerous types of pollution can negatively affect human health, the health of plants and animals, and the health of entire ecosystems in a wide and persistent way.

A Worldwide Concern

First of all, air pollution is a serious environmental concern to the world that jeopardizes food security and human health. It is estimated that it destroys enough crops to feed millions of people and claims over 3.7 million premature lives annually on a global scale. The data represents 6.7% of all fatalities globally and was responsible for 16% of deaths from lung cancer, 11% from deaths attributable to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 29% from heart disease and stroke, and around 13% from deaths from respiratory infections. Second, sizable research conducted in urban areas found a strong correlation between cardiovascular disease and exposure to PM2.5-containing air pollution. (Korea Institute of Toxicology, Inhalation Toxicology Research Center, Jeonbuk, Korea). Some of the most important elements of air pollution as a worldwide issue are as follows:

Health Impacts:

  • Particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and other air pollutants can aggravate respiratory disorders like asthma, increasing the risk of cardiovascular illnesses and early mortality.
  • Children's developmental issues and lung cancer can result from prolonged exposure.

Environmental Impacts:

  • Acid Rain: When sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere and react with atmospheric water vapour, acid rain is produced. This can damage forests, buildings, monuments, and aquatic life.
  • Eutrophication: Nitrogen compounds from emissions and runoff from agriculture can cause nutrient contamination in water bodies, which can affect aquatic life and cause excessive development of algae.
  • Climate Change: Heat is trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), which causes global warming.

Economic Impact:

  • Air pollution's negative health consequences lead to higher medical expenses and lower labour productivity.
  • Reduced agricultural yields and infrastructural damage can put a burden on economies.

Top 10 Most Polluted Cities in the World in 2024

Rank City Country AQI Primary Pollutants
1 Lahore Pakistan 437 PM2.5, dust
2 Dhaka Bangladesh 385 PM2.5, PM10
3 Delhi India 351 PM2.5, PM10
4 Dammam Saudi Arabia 273 PM2.5, ozone
5 Muzaffarnagar India 268 PM2.5, PM10
6 Baghdad Iraq 224 PM2.5, dust
7 Patna India 213 PM2.5, PM10
8 Ghaziabad India 212 PM2.5, PM10
9 Hapur India 211 PM2.5, PM10
10 Peshawar Pakistan 205 PM2.5, dust
  1. Lahore, Pakistan

    Regretfully, the energetic and ancient city of Lahore, Pakistan, comes in first on our list. Every winter, a lethal haze is created by a combination of industrial pollution, vehicle emissions, and crop burning in the neighbouring districts. Effective policies are desperately needed since respiratory issues are a common occurrence for residents.

  2. Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Dhaka's infrastructure is under stress due to the city's fast urbanization and population increase. Large volumes of particles are released by brick kilns across the city in addition to the heavy traffic. Although many people in the city use masks, more significant remedies are needed given the grave situation.

  3. Delhi, India

    India's capital city Delhi is renowned for its rich cultural heritage. Regrettably, its concerning air quality levels have also earned it notoriety. Particularly in the winter, several factors, including stubble burning, construction dust, vehicle emissions, and industrial output, contribute to the haze that covers the city.

  4. Dammam, Saudi Arabia

    In the centre of the oil-rich country, Dammam deals with the pollution from industrial operations and dust from the desert. Both environmentalists and medical experts are becoming more concerned about the region's dependence on fossil fuels and the ensuing pollution.

  5. Muzaffarnagar, India

    The industrial operations in this lesser-known Indian city release a substantial amount of particulate matter into the sky. The problem is made worse by the unrestrained expansion of minor companies in the absence of sufficient environmental regulations.

  6. Baghdad, Iraq

    The environmental problems facing Baghdad are frequently eclipsed by the country's political and social unrest. Poor air quality has been caused by dust storms, industrial pollution, and the fallout from conflicts, which puts additional strain on the health system.

  7. Patna, India

    Patna, another Indian city on the list, is confronted with issues related to burning biomass, industrial pollution, and automobile emissions. Children, the elderly, and the ill are frequently exposed to dangerously high amounts of pollution.

  8. Ghaziabad, India

    Ghaziabad, which is close to Delhi, faces comparable pollution issues. Clean air is becoming increasingly rare due to growing industrialization, traffic pollutants, and urbanization.

  9. Hapur, India

    Similar to its surrounding cities, Hapur struggles with excessive PM levels. The city's air is hazardous due to improper waste management, industrial activity, and vehicle pollution.

  10. Peshawar, Pakistan

    In Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Peshawar is plagued by a poisonous combination of dust, industrial pollutants, and vehicle exhaust. Residents are in desperate need of relief since there aren't enough resources to stop the pollution levels from rising.

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