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Delhi’s PM2.5 levels worst in the world

  • Published
    18th Aug, 2022

A report, Air Quality and Health in Cities, released by US-based Health Effects Institute recently, analyses pollution and global health effects for more than 7,000 cities around the world, focusing on two of the most harmful pollutants - fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).


Key Findings:

  • A global analysis of air quality found that Indian cities, while recording particulate matter emissions (PM2.5) that are among the highest in the world, do relatively better on nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) emissions.
  • Delhi and Kolkata were ranked first and second in the list of top 10 most polluted cities when PM2.5 levels were compared.
  • Mumbai was ranked
  • In terms of NO2 exposure, Shanghai was the worst in terms of average exposure. No Indian city appeared in the list of top 20 - polluted cities when N02 levels were compared.
  • In terms of the highest disease burden from a PM 2.5-related ailment, though, Beijing, with 124 attributable deaths per 100,000 people was the worst.
  • Delhi came in at 6th, with 106 deaths per 100,000 and Kolkata at 8th with 99.
  • In terms of absolute numbers, the study attributed 29,900 deaths in Delhi in 2019 to be due to PM 2.5 exposure; 21,380 in Kolkata; and 16,020 in Mumbai. In comparison, Beijing saw 26,270 deaths in 2019 on account of PM 2.5 exposure.
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