Romania's most polluted cities in 2018 - global report

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The WHO global air pollution database which listed 14 Indian cities among the 15 most polluted cities in the world previous year, was a matter of shame for the country and its government.

The fine particulate matters (PM2.5) considered in this study is notorious for its ability to penetrate deep into lungs and bloodstream causing serious long-term health complications leading to premature death.

The report is based on 2018 air quality data from public monitoring sources, such as government monitoring networks, supplemented with validated data from outdoor IQAir AirVisual monitors operated by private individuals and organisations.

The environmental NGO analysed real-time air pollution readings from over 3,000 cities in 2018.

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But the Vietnamese capital remained among the most polluted capital cities in the world, ranked the 12th worst in the list of 62.

A study by Greenpeace and Swiss-based IQ AirVisual found the average amount of fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, in New Delhi was 113.5 a year ago, more than double the level in Beijing. As a whole, India stands third among the most polluted countries in the world, after Pakistan and Bangladesh. Beijing now ranks as the 122nd most polluted city in the world.

Turns out, the pollution rates are highest in three countries at present, India, China and Pakistan dominate the list.

But 64 percent of the cities surveyed exceeded this guideline. India's majority on the list reveals a jarring truth and the air quality is scarily low in the country.

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In a statement released with the figures, the executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Yeb Sano said, "This has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets".

"In addition to human lives lost, there's an estimated cost of US$225 billion (S$305 billion) in lost labour, and trillions in medical costs". To curb down the problem of poor air quality, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest has launched a programme called National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in Jan 2019.

While Delhi was again named the capital with the dirtiest air, in tenth place, neighbouring business city Gurugram, which in 2016 changed its name from Gurgaon, took the not-so-coveted top spot.

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