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Dhaka air more polluted than any other city

  • Published at 04:01 pm March 11th, 2018
Dhaka air more polluted than any other city
Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka has been ranked highest in the US Air Quality Index (AQI), for having the worst level of air pollution in the world. According to data available from a smartphone application named AirVisual, which shows the user real-time air pollution index of any city across the globe, Dhaka can be found at the top of the chart almost all the time, signifying high level of air pollution. Till the filing of this report, US AQI of Dhaka was standing at 523. The index terms the air quality of Dhaka is extremely unhealthy, as the city consistently ranks above 301. Pakistan’s Lahore and Nepal's Kathmandu followed Dhaka with individual scores of 295 and 196 respectively. Commenting on the matter, Md Ziaul Haque, director (Air quality management), Department of Environment said: “There is no denying that the quality of air in Dhaka is quite terrible. The air quality started dropping since October, 2017. “At least a thousand brick kilns step up production in and around the city during winter and that is one of the reasons behind the bad air quality here.” 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.