New Delhi is worlds most polluted capital, Beijing eighth

Katie Ramirez
March 5, 2019

Air pollution, both outside and inside homes, is a silent and prolific killer responsible behind the premature death of seven million people each year, including 6,00,000 children, says David Boyd, a United Nations expert on environment and human rights.

The study also showed South Asia's fight with worsening air quality and the economic toll it is expected to take worldwide.

"The report is a reminder to us indicating that our efforts and actions to reduce the invisible killer, i.e., air pollution, are not enough and we need to do much more than already planned and done", said Pujarini Sen of Greenpeace India. Delhi - a frequent fixture on global pollution hotspots - was only the 11th most noxious city behind Lahore, Pakistan (10th) and Hotan, China (8th).

Countrywise, India ranks third on the world ranking for highest PM 2.5 concentration, which are tiny particles believed to the most harmful for human health.

Overall, 64% of the 3,000 cities covered in the report surpassed the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on PM2.5 exposure, which includes pollutants such as sulphate, nitrate and black carbon among others.

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Gurugram led the most polluted cities in the world in 2018, with Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.

Gurgaon which is located in India's capital New Delhi, is the most polluted city in the world, according to data released by IQ Air Visual and Greenpeace.

The only non-Indian city in the top five list is Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Productivity losses from pollution covers almost 8.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in India, as per the World Bank analysis.

"Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures", said Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. "In addition to human lives lost, there is a projected cost of dollar 225 billion in lost labor & trillions in medical costs".

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