Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka has again ranked among the cities that have the lowest quality of air in the world.
Dhaka ranked fifth in the real time air quality rankings with a score of 155 on Sunday, according to AirVisual. The air was classified as “unhealthy.”
The lowest quality of air was detected in Nigeria’s Port Harcourt, which stood at 202.
Earlier, while talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Department of Environment Director (Air quality management) Md Ziaul Haque said: “The air quality in Dhaka will continue to remain like this till the monsoon season starts.”
Bangladesh, one of the most densely-populated countries in the world, has been struggling with air pollution for a long time while Dhaka has continued to rank among the most polluted cities.
Brick kilns, vehicles run by fuels with higher level sulphur, as well as construction works have been identified as major sources of air pollution.
The air quality further declines during the dry months – from October to April – but improves in the monsoon.
The situation is serious, experts say, pointing out that five of the top 10 causes of deaths in Bangladesh are related to air pollution.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Air Quality Index to report air quality. This AQI is divided into six categories, indicating increasing levels of health concern.
An AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality and below 50 the air quality is good.
The index is based on the five criteria pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act– ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
The AQI debuted in 1968, when the National Air Pollution Control Administration undertook an initiative to develop an air quality index and to apply the methodology to Metropolitan Statistical Areas.