Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka ranked fourth worst in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday morning.
It had an AQI score of 241 at 10:17am. The air was classified as ‘very unhealthy’.
Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar, Afghanistan’s Kabul and Nepal’s Kathmandu occupied the top three positions in the list of cities with worst air quality. They had AQI scores of 382, 279 and 265 respectively.
Everyone may experience more serious health effects when the AQI score is between 201 and 300. When the value is more than 300, the air quality is considered hazardous and the entire population is more likely to be affected.
The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants - Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone (O3). The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.
Dhaka, the overcrowded capital of Bangladesh, has long been grappling with air pollution. The air quality usually improves during monsoon.