Kolkata ranks second in list of world’s most polluted cities

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According to the State of Global Air report, 2022, Kolkata ranks as the second most polluted city in the world. Kolkata has an annual average of 84g/m3 of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which is 17 times the recommended WHO safe limit.

Kolkata recorded 99 lakh deaths for every one lakh people exposed to high PM2.5 pollution. (File photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kolkata is reported to be the second most polluted city in the world
  • Kolkata reported an annual average of 84g/m3 of fine particulate matter
  • This is 17 times the safe limit recommended by the WHO

Kolkata ranked second in the list of the most polluted cities in the world, according to the State of Global Air report (SOGA), 2022. Published by the US-based health organisation, Health Effects Institute (HEI), the report stated that Kolkata has an annual average of 84g/m3 of PM2.5 concentration in the air.

This is 17 times the WHO recommended safe limit of 5g/m3, says the report. The same report also identified Delhi as the most polluted city in the world.

The report, titled Air Quality, and Health in Cities, focuses on two of the most harmful pollutants, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Although nitrogen pollution is a severe problem in the country, PM2.5 is the biggest pollution concern in Indian cities. Out of the top 20 cities which reported a severe increase in PM2.5 from 2010 to 2019, India is home to 18 of them. The other two are in Indonesia.

All these cities saw an increase of 30g/m3 of PM2.5 in the last decade. But, in 2019, Kolkata also ranked eighth in the list of most populous cities with the highest PM2.5-related diseases.

The capital of West Bengal recorded 99 lakh deaths for every one lakh people exposed to high PM2.5 pollution.

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