India houses 7 out of 10 top polluting cities in the world

A cyclist protects himself with a handkerchief against air-pollution as he rides through smog at ITO Bridge in New Delhi

A cyclist protects himself with a handkerchief against air-pollution as he rides through smog at ITO Bridge in New Delhi | PTI

Seven of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India India, a study showing South Asia's battle with deteriorating air quality and the economic toll it's expected to take worldwide, stated on Tuesday.

The Greenpeace and AirVisual analysis of air pollution readings from 3,000 cities around the world found that 64% exceed the World Health Organization's annual exposure guideline for PM2.5 fine particulate matter - tiny airborne particles, about a 40th of the width of a human hair, that are linked to a wide range of health problems.

Seven of the world's 10 most polluted cities are in India. The other cities in India that made the list of 20 were Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwadi, Noida, Patna, Lucknow, Jodhpur, Muzaffarpur, Varanasi, Moradabad, Agra, Gaya and Jind.

The report accompanies an extended online interactive display of the world's most polluted cities, allowing further exploration of air quality across different regions and sub-regions in 2018, it said.

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The WHO global air pollution database which listed 14 Indian cities among the 15 most polluted cities in the world past year, was a matter of shame for the country and its government. Out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world a year ago, 18 were from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said: 'Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures, but we can change that.

When ranked by country, Bangladesh emerged as the most polluted followed by Pakistan and India respectively. "In addition to human lives lost, there is a projected cost of dollar 225 billion in lost labor & trillions in medical costs".

Out of 50 cities that have the poorest air quality, 25 Indian cities are in the list with Gurugram being number one, as per a report by Greenpeace and AirVisual.

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