Mumbai most polluted city in State

Namrata Devikar
Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Pune comes 4th in a Greenpeace report on most polluted cities in 2018

Pune: According to a recent Greenpeace report, Mumbai ranks number one as the most polluted city in the State, followed by Aurangabad, Nagpur and Pune in 2018. 

The list features other cities in the State such as Chandrapur, Nashik, Solapur and Thane. What is more shocking is that the amount of pollution noted in 2018 has increased gradually but alarmingly in each city compared to 2017. The report also declares Gurugram and Delhi as among the most polluted cities in the world.

IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report stated that the average air quality of Mumbai for 2017  was 54.2, which increased in 2018 to 58.6. Half of the year, the air quality in Mumbai was very poor, which may cause respiratory illnesses on a prolonged exposure.

Mumbai rose up to 71st rank in the global list of most polluted cities from 113rd rank in 2017.  

For Pune city, average air quality for 2017 was 37, which increased in 2018 to 46.3.

Half of the year, the air quality in the city was poor, which means some people may experience breathing discomfort. What is more shocking is that among the cities globally, from 276th rank in 2017, Pune went up to 153rd rank in 2018.

Pujarini Sen of Greenpeace India said the report is a reminder that efforts and actions at present are not enough to reduce air pollution.

“We need to do much more than what has been already planned and done. If we want India to breathe clean air, it is high time our strategies need to be implemented in stringent ways. Many cities across the globe are showing that it is possible. We have enough of research and studies suggesting the way ahead towards breathable India. The question that remains to be answered is whether there is enough political will to aggressively fight the health emergency India faces today and move away from polluting fuels and practices of past,” said Sen.

International scenario
The report, IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report monitored over 3,000 cities across the globe. The report reveals that 64 per cent of these cities exceeded the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual exposure guideline for fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5. 
Data highlights that of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 18 are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

According to the report, every single one of measured cities with data in the Middle East and Africa exceeded the WHO guidelines. While 99 per cent of cities in South Asia,  95 per cent of cities in Southeast Asia and 89 per cent of cities in East Asia also exceed the level.

Impact on health
According to health experts, exposure to PM2.5 pollution increases the risk of diseases such as lung cancer, stroke, heart attack and respiratory diseases, including asthma symptoms. Many reports have suggested that on an average, global life expectancy is lowered by 1.8 years due to air pollution.

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