Ten of the world’s most polluted cities are in India, and the industrial city of Kanpur tops the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘most polluted’ list.
In Kanpur, located at Yamuna, a tributary of the Ganges in the north of India,173 micrograms of so-called ‘PM 2.5 microparticles’ per cubic meter were measured, while the WHO have set the limit at 10 micrograms.
New Delhi, which once toppled the list of the world’s most polluted cities, has now fallen to sixth. However, it is not because the air has improved in the Indian capital, but that pollution has increased in other Indian cities.
“This is a weird reminder that air pollution has become a national public health crisis
which requires action,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, head of the Center for Science
and Environment in New Delhi.
According to the WHO, nine out of ten people in the world are breathing in harmful air,resulting in about 7 million deaths annually. Particles cling to people’s lungs, causing stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic pneumonia, and respiratory tract infections.
The inhabitants of a number of Indian cities, primarily in the north of the country, breathe heavily polluted air, dust from construction sites, smoke from coal-fired furnaces, and garbage that people burn to keep warm.
Some studies show that every third child among the millions in city of New Delhi has
weakened lung capacity, and respiratory diseases such as asthma.
The city’s authorities have tried to do something about the problem and prohibit trucks from driving in the streets, requiring people to replace old and polluting cars with newer and more environmentally friendly vehicles.
However, the measures have not made the air noticeably cleaner, as the other major
sources of pollution continue as before.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today