Neither Delhi nor Beijing, these are ten most polluted cities in the world

Published: 13th November 2017 04:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2017 04:32 PM  

A new report from the World Health Organization suggests that these megacities are actually only the tip of the iceberg — and the actual city with the world's worst pollution is probably in Iran. When studying air quality, scientists look at the size of particles found in the air. Generally, a lot of attention is placed upon particles of a PM2.5 size, which is around one-30th the size of a human hair. These particles are particularly worrying because they have the ability to enter lungs and blood tissue and cause serious health problems. Here's a list of ten most polluted cities in the world. (Representational Image)
A new report from the World Health Organization suggests that these megacities are actually only the tip of the iceberg — and the actual city with the world's worst pollution is probably in Iran. When studying air quality, scientists look at the size of particles found in the air. Generally, a lot of attention is placed upon particles of a PM2.5 size, which is around one-30th the size of a human hair. These particles are particularly worrying because they have the ability to enter lungs and blood tissue and cause serious health problems. Here's a list of ten most polluted cities in the world. (Representational Image)
If you look at WHO's PM2.5 data, the Iranian city of Zabol comes out on top. This city, which has a population of more than 100,000, sits on the border with Afghanistan in Iran's east. The city is known for the '120 day wind,' a lengthy dust storm through the hot and dry summer. (Representational Image)
Gwalior, a historic city about 200 miles south of New Delhi, is the city with the worst air pollution both in terms of PM 2.5 and 10, according to the WHO. Gwalior's bad air pollution is due to coal-powered plants, cars, and inefficient energy use in buildings. (Representational Image)
Allahabad, a city with almost 1 million people, joins the list in the #3 spot. The city is near the Ganges river, which often dries up, releasing dust into the air. (Photo | PTI)
Riyadh, the largest city in Saudi Arabia also clocks in as its most polluted, with 15 times what a healthy annual PM 2.5 should be. The city attributes the high pollution days in part to sulfur dioxide in the air, which predominantly comes from industrial activity. (Representational Image)
Al Jubail is an industrial city on the Persian Gulf. Because of its rapid industrialization in the 1970s, it has a high amount of air pollution that's been noted since the 1980s. (Representational Image)
Patna, the second-largest city in eastern is a major agricultural trade center, suffers from high pollution in part because of transportation, power generation and other industries. (Photo | PTI)
Raipur, a city in central India, is the fourth most polluted Indian city in terms of average PM 2.5 levels. (Representational Image)
Bamenda, a hilly city in northwest Cameroon, was the only African city in the top 15. The air pollution there is in part attributed to rapid urbanization that's led to a lot of soil erosion. (Photo | AFP)
Xingtai, also at an annual mean of 128 µg/m3 of PM 2.5, is located in China's Hebei province. Often regarded as the city with the most air pollution in China, its high levels are due to the coal-burning factories. (Photo | AFP)
Although China is known for its high-smog days, it only has two cities in the top 10 worst polluted in the world. Baoding's pollution comes from nearby factories using coal-powered machines. (Representational Image)
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