NEW DELHI- Indian capital Delhi, has the most polluted air in the world, local media reported today.
The concentration of PM2.5 (fine, respirable particles) is the highest in Delhi at 153 micrograms per cubic meter (g/m), when the World Health Organization (WHO) standard is just about 10g/m, Times of India newspaper quoted a WHO report on 1,600 cities and 91 countries released as saying.
The fine, particulate pollution which is considered most dangerous for health is way higher in Delhi compared with many other crowded Asian cities, including Beijing which has a PM2.5 level of 56g/m, Karachi (117g/m) and Shanghai (36g/m), said the report. The concentration of PM10 (coarse particles) in Delhi is about 286g/m, more than 14 times higher than the WHO annual mean standard of 20. Peshawar (540g/m) and Rawalpindi (448g/m) in Pakistan fare worse on this parameter. Indian cities with a very high PM10 level include Gwalior, Raipur and Lucknow.
This is not the first time Delhi has earned the dubious distinction of having extremely polluted air. In January, Yale University's Environmental Performance Index 2014 had ranked India among the bottom five in a list of 178 countries for various parameters, including air pollution, according to the newspaper.