After remaining in the top 10 list of cities with unhealthy air quality, the air quality of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka has finally improved.
Dhaka scored 93 in the US Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday. The air was classified as “moderate.”
The index was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency for reporting daily air quality of any city or country.
China’s Shanghai and Nigeria’s Port Harcourt occupied the top two spots with individual scores of 167 and 165 respectively, according to data obtained from AirVisual
, which shows real-time air pollution index of any city.
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 levels of 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 during monsoon.
The situation is very serious, experts say, pointing out that five of the top 10 causes of deaths in Bangladesh are related to air pollution.
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.