Air Pollution Johannesburg Tops the List, Dhaka in Second Place

Air Pollution: Johannesburg Tops the List, Dhaka in Second Place
Air Pollution: Johannesburg Tops the List, Dhaka in Second Place
Air pollution is a growing concern in major cities around the world, including Dhaka. The pollution levels in these cities vary throughout the day, increasing at night and decreasing in the morning, only to rise again in the afternoon.

In this regard, on Tuesday morning (June 6), Dhaka ranked second with an AQI (Air Quality Index) score of 154, while Johannesburg, South Africa, topped the list with an AQI score of 166. Doha, Qatar, secured the third position with a score of 151.

These rankings were provided by the Air Quality Index (AQI), an organization that monitors air quality. The AQI assesses scores ranging from 0 to 50 as good, 51 to 100 as moderate, 101 to 150 as unhealthy for sensitive groups, and considers scores from 151 to 200 as unhealthy. An AQI score between 201 and 300 is considered very unhealthy and is accompanied by recommendations to restrict activities both indoors and outdoors, particularly for children, the elderly, and individuals with health conditions. An AQI score between 301 and 400 is considered hazardous, posing a significant health risk for urban residents.

Typically, the AQI is determined based on five types of pollutants: particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3).

Ahmed Kamruzzaman Majumder, the director of the Center for Atmospheric Pollution Studies, recently stated that air pollution has increased by an average of 8 to 10 units each year compared to previous days. However, no specific measures have been taken to address this issue. The highest percentage of air pollution, approximately 31%, occurs due to unplanned construction activities. As a result, it is challenging to identify specific areas as hotspots of air pollution.

Moreover, the effects of air pollution are not limited to respiratory problems but also impact heart and brain health, as explained by Professor Abdus Salam from the Department of Chemistry at Dhaka University (DU).

According to a report by the Department of Environment and the World Bank in March 2019, the three main sources of air pollution in Dhaka are brick kilns, vehicular emissions, and dust from construction sites.

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