Air quality in Dhaka is ‘Very Unhealthy’ at 8:49 am on Wednesday (Nov 8). Dhaka ranks fourth in the list of most polluted cities in the world with an Air Quality Index (AQI) score of 217.
Lahore in Pakistan, Delhi in India and Karachi in Pakistan ranked first, second and third on the list with AQI scores of 444, 393 and 287 respectively.
An AQI score of 101 to 150 is considered ‘unhealthy for susceptible groups’ and an AQI score between 151 and 200 is considered ‘unhealthy’.
In addition, an AQI score of 201 to 300 is considered ‘very unhealthy’ and an AQI score of 301 to 400 is considered ‘hazardous’, posing serious health risks to residents.
AQI in Bangladesh is determined based on 5 characteristics of pollution. They are Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone (O3).
Dhaka has been suffering from air pollution for a long time. Its air quality generally becomes unhealthy during winters and improves slightly during monsoons.
According to a report by the Department of Environment and the World Bank in March 2019, the three main sources of air pollution in Dhaka are brick kilns, vehicle fumes and dust from construction sites.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution has increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections. It causes an estimated 7 million deaths worldwide each year.