Dhaka’s air quality is ‘unhealthy’ today. At 9:40 am on Tuesday (November 7), the capital’s Air Quality Index (AQI) score was 182. Dhaka ranks fifth in the list of the most polluted cities in the world.
Delhi, India, Lahore, Pakistan and Kolkata, India occupy the top three spots in the list with AQI scores of 330, 317 and 212 respectively.
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 five 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 March 2019 report by the Department of Environment and the World Bank, the three main sources of air pollution in Dhaka are brick kilns, vehicle fumes and dust from construction sites.
According to data from 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.