Indian cities alone occupy 22 of the top 30 places in the most polluted cities in the world, according to a report published by the NGO Greenpeace.
This report is likely to cough up a few people in India. Presented annually, the 2018 Global Air Quality Report, compiled by Greenpeace and IQAir AirVisual, once again points to major Indian cities as the worst in terms of air pollution.
Indian cities alone occupy 22 of the top 30 places. At the top of the list is the nearby business city of Gurugram, which changed its name in 2016 to that of Gurgaon. New Delhi, in tenth place, is again designated as the capital with the most polluted air.
Cities in China, Pakistan and Bangladesh are also in the top 30 on the list.
Polluted and "toxic" air in more than 90% of cities worldwide
Southeast Asia singled out
By country in terms of population, Bangladesh appears to be the most polluted country, followed closely by Pakistan and India, Afghanistan and Mongolia also in the top ten of the list.
Average concentrations in Chinese cities fell by 12% between 2017 and 2018. Beijing is now the 122e most polluted city in the world.
"Recent years have shown that in Southeast Asia, there is a strong correlation between rapid economic development and worsening air pollution", says the report.
Two-thirds of cities exceed emission standards for fine particles
The global report compiles data on PM2.5 emissions, the fine particles that can enter the airways and cause health problems, collected from tens of thousands of observation centers, both public and private, through the world.
Of the approximately 3,000 cities surveyed, 64% exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) standards for annual PM2.5 exposure.
According to the United Nations, air pollution is responsible each year for the premature death of 7 million people and is the main health risk in the environment.
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A very high economic cost
"Putting aside human losses [liées à cette pollution], the estimated total cost is $ 225 billion in labor costs and trillions in medical costssays Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace for Southeast Asia. All of this has far-reaching consequences for our health and our portfolios. "
The Cross (with AFP)