With an Air Quality Index (AQI) score of 101, Dhaka ranks 10th in the world’s most polluted cities. Also, the air quality in the capital Dhaka is ‘unhealthy’ on Friday morning.
Lahore in Pakistan, Delhi in India and Johannesburg in South Africa occupy the top three spots with AQI scores of 181, 159 and 141 respectively.
An AQI score of 101 to 200 is considered ‘unhealthy’ for particularly sensitive groups.
Similarly, an AQI score between 201 and 300 is said to be ‘poor’, while a score of 301 to 400 is considered ‘risky’, posing a serious health risk to residents.
The AQI index, which is based on daily air quality, gives people information about how clean or polluted the air in a particular city is and what kind of health risks it may pose to them.
AQI in Bangladesh is determined based on five types of pollution – 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.
A report by the Department of Environment and the World Bank in March 2019 stated that the three main sources of air pollution in Dhaka are brick kilns, black smoke from vehicles and dust from construction sites.
Air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for death and disability worldwide.
According to various studies, a person is more likely to develop heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, lung infections and cancer due to prolonged exposure to polluted air.
According to the United Nations, 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air, and air pollution causes an estimated 7 million premature deaths each year, mainly in low- and middle-income countries.