It is estimated that 50% of the world’s population lives in a city. This rate is believed to grow to 70% in the 2050’s. This phenomenal growth can be attributed to the lure of not just economic opportunities, but also to loss of farmland, pollution or conflict. Moreover the attraction and anonymity of hedonistic pleasures that cities have to offer play an important role in a world that satisfies the needs of the modern individualist.
There is always a downside. Most major cities, especially in developing countries, heavily rely on the level of industrialization. People drive in dirty old cars and work in factories or power plants that don’t meet the environmental standards that are common in the developed world. The result is poor visibility (smog) and the actual feeling of grit in the air that you breathe. The World Health Organization (WHO) air quality standards recommends 20 micrograms per cubic meter of PM10 or less. The cities in the next list are way beyond these recommendations. Check the top 10 most air polluted cities!
Top 10 most air polluted cities
- Kanpur, India – 209 ug/m3
- Yasouj, Iran – 215 ug/m3
- Gaborone, Botswana – 216 ug/m3
- Peshawar, Pakistan – 219 ug/m3
- Kermanshah, Iran – 229 ug/m3
- Quetta, Pakistan – 251 ug/m3
- Ludhiana, India – 251 ug/m3
- Sanandaj, Iran – 254 ug/m3
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – 279 ug/m3
- Ahwaz, Iran – 372 ug/m3
Bakersfield, California is the first American city to appear on the list with a level of 38 ug/m3