- BANGLADESH: Bangladesh topped the list of the world’s most polluted country for PM2.5 of 79ug/m3. The population of Bangladesh is 166 million. This population is a strain on the available resources, such as air. For this reason, there is a lot of pollution from industries and human activities. The country’s primary environmental pollutants are air and water pollution, groundwater contamination, noise pollution, and solid wastes. Dhaka City is one of the most polluted cities in the world. In terms of air pollution, Bangladesh’s largest source is its brickmaking industry, which employs one million people and creates 23 billion bricks every year. The kilns used in brickmaking burn wood or coal and create mass amounts of smoke and dust. Due to increased demand for bricks, the brickmaking industry is only expected to grow more, leading to more air pollution.
- PAKISTAN: Pakistan is a second most polluted country in the world. Pakistan has an average concentration of PM2.5 of 101ug/m3. The population of this country is 200.8 million. Pakistan is experiencing rising pollution from the growing number of vehicles on the roads, large-scale losses of trees, smoke from bricks kiln and steel mills, and the burning of garbage. The Pakistan minister for climate change blamed India for Pakistan’s smog; however, Pakistani citizens blame their government for simply not doing enough to monitor or combat the crisis.
- MONGOLIA: A small country with worst air quality. Mongolia stands for third most polluted country in the world. This is attributed to the burning of coal that is done regularly to overcome the cold weather. These carbon emissions go a long way to polluting the air. Mongolia’s average PM2.5 concentration is 62.00. The largest pollution source in Mongolia is the burning of coal and other biomass, such as wood or crop residue, in stoves. In Mongolia’s capital, Ulan Bator, respiratory infections have increased 270% over the last ten years, and children that live in the capital city have a 40% lower lung function than those living in rural areas. About 70-90% of pregnant mothers being treated at a family health center in Mongolia are negatively impacted by air pollution. Infants as young as two days old are being diagnosed with pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses.
- AFGHANISTAN: It has an average concentration of PM2.5 of 84ug/mg3, making it the fourth most polluted country in the world. The life expectancy is quite low at 60 years for both genders, the low expectancy is owed to the fact that there is a lot of pollution in the atmosphere. This is caused by the burning of rubber and plastics. Also, the constant driving to work increases carbon emissions to the air. About 80% of drinking water in Afghanistan is polluted as well due to low rainfall, irregular use of groundwater, and insufficient infrastructure in cities. The lack of clean drinking water commonly results in food poisoning.
- INDIA: India the fifth-most polluted country in the world, with an average PM2.5 concentration of 50.08. Of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, 21 of them are located in India. The most polluted city in India and the world is Kanpur, where the city’s medical college receives about 600 respiratory illness patients per month. India’s unhealthy pollution levels are from sources such as vehicles, the burning of coal and wood, dust storms, and forest fires. Delhi, India’s capital region, is notorious for some of the worst air in India, forcing flight cancellations, causing traffic accidents, closing of schools, and even turned the white marble walls of the Taj Mahal green. Rural areas are just as, if not more, affected by pollution in India as they rely on things such as wood and dung for cooking and heating and still practice the burning of crop stubble.
- INDONESIA: Indonesia’s average PM2.5 concentration is 51.71. About 250,000 people die in Indonesia every year because of pollution exposure, the fourth-highest premature pollution deaths in the world. Millions of children are exposed to poor air quality every year, causing them to miss school and leading to possible lifelong physical and cognitive damage. A few decades ago, Indonesia’s air quality was considered among the cleanest in the world, while it is the sixth-most polluted globally today.
- BAHRAIN: It is seventh most polluted country in the world. which has an average PM2.5 of 59.80. Bahrain has the worst air pollution in the Middle East. A Gulf country like Bahrain may not suffer from pollution caused by coal power plants or other human activity seen in cities, but rather from dust and sand storms that can pick up several harmful chemicals and even radioactive materials from as far as the Sahara.
- NEPAL: An average concentration of PM2.5 of 51ug/m3, Nepal is in eighth position on the list. With an approximate population of 29 million. About 1 in 10 Nepalese now suffer from a chronic lung problem such as bronchitis or emphysema due to Nepal’s worsening air conditions. A baby born today in Nepal is expected to have a two-year shorter life expectancy solely due to problems caused by the air. In the country’s capital, Kathmandu, 80% of vehicles on the road are motorcycles, which are one of the leading urban polluters in addition to brick kilns.
- UZBEKISTAN: Uzbekistan ranked as the nineth most polluted country in the world. Uzbekistan’s average PM2.5 concentration is 41.20. According to the World Health Organization, Uzbekistan has the third-highest death rate associated with outdoor pollution in the world. Air quality in Uzbekistan, especially around Tashkent, is better during the spring and summer and worse during colder temperatures. Much of the country’s pollution is from poor water management, heavy use of agricultural chemicals, salt and dust storms, factories, and auto emissions.
- IRAQ: Iraq is tenth most polluted country in the world with an average PM2.5 concentration of 39.60. Iraq’s poor air quality contributors are vehicle emissions, war-induced pollution, power generators, and small fires, mostly from oil and gas refineries. In 2016, researchers found that exposure to war-induced pollution, including explosions and the burning of military waste, is a cause of congenital disabilities and cancers.
Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without mother earth, but the planet can live without humans.
“MAN IS THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT FOULS ITS OWN NEST” – anonymous