Dhaka’s air quality remains in the ‘unhealthy’ zone this morning.
With an air quality index (AQI) score of 187 at 9:30 am, the capital of Bangladesh ranked fourth in the list of cities worldwide with the worst air quality.
India’s Delhi, Pakistan’s Lahore and Ghana’s Accra occupied the first, second, and third spots in the list, with AQI scores of 278, 196, and 195, respectively.
An AQI score between 151 and 200 is said to be ‘unhealthy’ while 201 and 300 is considered ‘very unhealthy’, and 301 to 400 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. Breathing polluted air has long been recognised as increasing a person’s chances of developing a heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, lung infections and cancer, according to several studies.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.