Dhaka’s air quality took a distressing turn as it ranked 5th among the most polluted cities globally this morning, as indicated by the Air Quality Index (AQI).
This morning, the air quality in Dhaka city registered an AQI score of 136 at 8:30 am, falling into the category of ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’.
Leading the list of highly polluted cities were Uganda’s Kampala, followed by United Arab Emirates’ Dubai, Kuwait’s Kuwait City, and Indonesia’s Jakarta, with AQI scores of 162, 159, 157, and 152 respectively.
The Air Quality Index classifies an AQI value between 101 and 150 as ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’, 150 to 200 as ‘unhealthy’, 201 to 300 as ‘very unhealthy’, and readings exceeding 301 as ‘hazardous’, posing severe health risks to residents.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is determined based on five key pollutants: particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and Ozone.
Dhaka has long been grappling with the challenge of air pollution, experiencing a decline in air quality, especially during winter, and witnessing improvements during the monsoon season.
Air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for global mortality and disability. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately seven million lives are lost worldwide each year due to air pollution, with a significant increase in mortality attributed to stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.