The world's most polluted cities
A new report revealed the worst and best cities in the world in air pollution rates for the year 2021, stressing that the average annual air pollution in 97% of cities exceeded the air quality guidelines set by the World Health Organization.
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According to CNN, the report, prepared by IQAir, a global air quality tracking company, showed that only 222 cities out of 6,475 surveyed had an air quality rate that complies with WHO standards.
According to the report, Bangladesh ranked first in terms of air pollution rates, followed by Chad, Pakistan, Tajikistan and India, where these countries exceeded the guidelines by ten times.
Scandinavian countries, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom ranked among the best in terms of air quality, with average pollution rates one or two times above standards.
The report added that the United States of America exceeded the limit set by the World Health Organization two to three times.
Among more than 2,400 American cities that were analyzed, the air in Los Angeles was found to be the most polluted, despite a 6% decrease compared to 2020. The report also showed a significant increase in pollution in the cities of Atlanta and Minneapolis.
The researchers said the main sources of pollution in the United States were fossil-fueled transportation and wildfires.
The report stated that China, which was previously among the worst countries in terms of air pollution, showed an improvement in air quality in 2021, as more than half of the Chinese cities that were analyzed, recorded lower air pollution rates than the previous year.
The Chinese capital, Beijing, continues to implement the five-year air improvement plan, which follows the policy of gradual reduction of polluting industries in the city.
"Fine particles kill so many people every year and governments around the world must take drastic measures to ensure air quality," Glory Dolphin Hammes, CEO of IQAir told CNN.
BM 2.5 is one of the smallest and most dangerous pollutants, produced by burning fossil fuels, dust storms, and wildfires, and may cause asthma, heart disease, and other respiratory diseases, as it, when inhaled, settles deep in tissues. The lungs can enter the bloodstream.
Millions of people die each year from health problems related to air quality.
In 2016, air pollution caused 4.2 million premature deaths. According to the World Health Organization.