Dhaka becomes 12th most polluted city with AQI score of 144

Dhaka’s air quality was marked as ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ on Wednesday morning.

With an air quality index score of 144 at 8:56am, Dhaka ranked 12th on the list of cities worldwide with the worst air quality, according to the AQI.

Pakistan’s Lahore, India’s Delhi and China’s Chengdu occupied the first three spots on the list, with AQI scores of 306, 204, and 180 respectively.

When the AQI value for particle pollution is between 101 and 150, air quality is considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’, between 150 and 200 is ‘unhealthy’, between 201 and 300 is said to be ‘very unhealthy’, while a reading of 301 and above is considered ‘hazardous’, posing serious health risks to residents.

In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants — particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and Ozone.

Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution issues. Its air quality usually turns unhealthy in winter and improves during the monsoon.

Air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for death and disability worldwide.

As per the World Health Organisation, air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, largely due to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.

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