• Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:43 am

Dhaka's air quality improves

  • Published at 12:47 pm June 1st, 2020
Pollution air dust dhaka
Dust pollution has reached an alarming stage in Dhaka, causing many deaths as well as several million cases of illness Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Residential areas like Baridhara and Bashundhara showed AQI scores of 60 and 97 respectively

Dhaka's air quality has showed improvement as the capital city ranked 16th worst on the world Air Quality Index (AQI).

On the real-time rankings, Dhaka showed an average AQI score of 78 at 11:31am on Monday, according to IQAir, which monitors global air quality.

Dhaka's air quality was classified as "moderate."

Residential areas like Baridhara and Bashundhara showed AQI scores of 60 and 97 respectively.

The improvement in air quality comes at a time when the country reopened operations of all offices, businesses and transports in limited scale from Sunday with an end to the general holidays, which was extended in phases until May 30. 

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the country had shut down educational institutions, mass transport, and imposed restriction on the movement of people to contain the spread of the pandemic. 

This initiative significantly cut down air pollution in Dhaka which regularly ranked among top 10 cities with worst air quality.

The United Arab Emirates' Dubai,  China's Chengdu, and Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City occupied the first, second, and third spots in the list of cities with the worst air quality with AQI scores of 162, 151, and 145 respectively.

When the AQI value is between 51 and 100, the air quality is moderate, but children and people with respiratory diseases are advised to limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

An AQI score between 101 and 200 means that there is an increased likelihood of adverse effects and aggravation to the heart and lungs among the general public, particularly the sensitive groups.

Air quality between 201 and 300 is classified as "very unhealthy." If the score is between 301 and 500, then it is classified as "hazardous."

The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.

In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants -- Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and Ozone (O3).

The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.

As one of the most densely populated countries in the world, Bangladesh has been struggling with air pollution for a long time. Dhaka continuously ranks among the world's most polluted cities.

Brick kilns, vehicles run on fuel containing higher levels of sulphur, as well as construction work, have all been identified as major sources of air pollution.

Air quality further declines during the dry months -- from October to April -- but improves during the monsoon.

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