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Pollution has become one of the major concerns for the last few years. It has caused an imbalance in the climate resulting in health problems like heart diseases, cancer etc. Premature deaths also occur from the air and household pollution.
WHO is actively involved in taking measures as according to a study, pollution is killing nearly seven million people every year combining all the countries. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, there was a lot of improvement in the air quality resulting in clearer skies and less pollution. But as soon as the economies reopened. everything went back to normal. There are a few countries who have conducted health programs and the ‘Environment Protection Agency’ (EPA) is also taking keen interest in the CO2 emissions, that it does not exceed the limit. On the other hand, there are countries that are neither concerned nor cooperating which has worsened the situation of the world.
The top 5 countries responsible for high pollution in the world are as follows:
With the average rate of 83.3ug/m3, Bangladesh has been named as the most polluted country in the world. Due to various government policies, the quality of air may have improved in the past two years, but it is still very unnatural. Despite the Covid-19 shutdown, Bangladesh is considered as one of the most polluted countries today.
Due to inhaling of this polluted air, people suffer from severe dust allergy. People are facing breathing problems and skin problem like dermatitis. Government has started taking action by giving guidelines regarding the control in emission from industries and vehicles. They have also shut down various brick kiln in Dhaka. But the steps taken by the government are not sufficient enough to combat air pollution.
With the average rate of 65.8ug/m3, Pakistan is the second most polluted country in the world. Every year almost 22% death occurs due to high pollution. It has become a serious threat which needs immediate action from the government. Big cities like Karachi and Lahore have extreme pollution and Karachi comes under 10 most polluted cities in the world. Not only the safety of humans is under threat but it has also lead to low quality life as there is no link between environment control and competitiveness. Air pollution in South Asian regions of Pakistan is even worse.
With the average rate of 62.0ug/m3, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia has the most polluted atmosphere. 46% of the population of Mongolia resides in Ulaanbaatar. It’s one of the coldest regions on earth. Hence, burning of coal and biomass like wood, crop residue etc., as fuel is quite common. This has created indoor air pollution. To stay warm, Mongolians use excessive raw coal on a regular basis. This dependency in coal has taken quite turmoil on the health of Mongolians. When the climate is too cold, it becomes quite hazy. Sometimes their eyes sting due to air pollution.
It is not just due to household coal but there are industries and vehicles too that emits coal. There is a district named Ger where they have wooden houses with chimney. Most of the people living in Ger district burn 600,000 tons of raw coal every winter to stay warm. Government should encourage using the alternative of coal as this needs to be stopped. Semi coke is a better option than coal as it gives fewer fumes.
With the average rate of 58.8ug/m3, Afghanistan is the fourth most polluted country in the world. Many people die in Afghanistan due to pollution than the current civil wars. Almost 26,000 people die from air pollution while 3483 died from violence and wars. Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan is one of the most polluted cities. There are various reasons for air pollution in Afghanistan. One of the major reasons in Kabul is illegal housing that has caused increase in level of pollution. Other reasons are when there is cold, people use too much plastic, car tires and raw coal in their stoves. This has resulted in respiratory diseases. Various brick factories, restaurants etc use cheap quality of raw coal which has caused problem in drinking water too. It has become mandatory for the citizens to wear masks outside due to high level of pollution.
Corona virus has made the situation worse in Afghanistan as large number of people are already suffering from respiratory problems. Improper infrastructure and irregular rainfall have added to the existing pollution problem. The government has decided to take legal action on business, industries etc who utilize poor quality of fuel.
With the average of 58.1ug/m3, India stands as the fifth most polluted country in the world. According to WHO, promising country like India failed to control pollution levels. During Covid-19 lockdown the scenario was changed as the pollution was under control. If strict measures are taken by the government, India can improve in terms of pollution as well as population. These pollutants have caused great harm to human health and acceleration of glacier melt.
Out of 29 states in India, 15 states have high concentration of pollution .These particles gets deposited to Himalayas through various regions resulting in glacier melt. Delhi, the capital of India is so polluted that breathing there is equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day. When the air in the city becomes cool, pollution becomes wretched during this time.
These are the 5 countries that are mainly responsible for high pollution in the world. The solution to this is strict penalties and guidelines should be provided by the government. Also, the alternate option to coal and other fuels should be introduced by the government. Industries and businesses using cheap fuel should be given strict punishments.
Pollution has become an international crisis that is resulting in glacier melting and also affecting the human health. These high pollutant countries should follow the example of least polluted countries. Though it is difficult to meet clean targets, the level of pollution can still decline drastically.