Jodhpur, Jaipur most polluted cities in state, says World Health Organization report

Jodhpur, Jaipur most polluted cities in state, says World Health Organization report

The steel town is the worst affected in a list of some 47 United Kingdom towns and cities that are either at or have broken the World Health Organisation's annual limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.

The WHO report said more than 90 percent of the world´s people are breathing risky levels of pollutants that killed some seven million people in 2016.

Since 2016, over 1,000 additional cities have been added to WHO's database, which shows more countries are measuring and taking action to reduce air pollution than ever before.

Port Talbot was found to have nearly double the limit on fine particle air pollution levels, recording 18 micrograms per cubic metre.

The report did mention, however, that the nations with the most polluted cities are making efforts, for example, India's Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana which in 2 years has provided 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to switch to clean household energy use.

As an indicator of why this constitutes a major public health emergency, consider that WHO has further pointed to air pollution being a main cause of non-communicable diseases, causing around 24% of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25% from stroke, 43% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 25% from lung cancer.

Residents of Kanpur reacted with dismay Wednesday after the Indian city was found to have the worst air quality in a global World Health Organization survey that urged the nation to clean up its act.

The WHO report said the other Indian cities that registered very high PM2.5 levels and constituted the top 14 were Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.

It's a problem that affects more than 40 per cent of the world's population - some three billion people - a situation that the WHO Director-General described as "unacceptable". And the penetration of these levels has been the highest in these. If steps are not taken to control pollution levels in these cities it would create a Delhi-like situation. "Improving air quality demands sustained and coordinated government action at all levels", the World Health Organization said.

"We know there is a strong link between poor air quality and heart health with nearly six in ten global deaths (58%) related to outdoor air pollution caused by a heart attack or stroke".

More than 90 per cent of victims come from low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, followed by others in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas. During these months, in addition to local emissions, there was a substantial contribution from regional sources, including smoke due to stubble burning in neighbouring states and dust from Gulf countries.