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Air quality: Dhaka ranks worst, Gulshan, Baridhara unhealthy

Air polution in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Residential areas like Gulshan and Baridhara showed AQI scores of 242 and 322 respectively

Dhaka has ranked worst on the world Air Quality Index (AQI) as extreme air pollution makes it one of the most polluted cities.

On the real-time rankings, Dhaka showed an average AQI score of 227 at 8:21am on Thursday, according to IQAir, which monitors global air quality.

Dhaka’s air quality was classified as “very unhealthy.”

Residential areas like Gulshan and Baridhara showed AQI scores of 242 and 322 respectively.

China’s Beijing and Afghanistan’s Kabul occupied the second and third spots in the list of cities with the worst air quality with AQI scores of 170 and 157 respectively.

A numerical value between 151 and 200 indicates that everyone may begin to experience health effects. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

Air quality between 201 and 300 is classified as “very unhealthy.” If the score is between 301 and 500, then it is classified as “hazardous.”

The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.

In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants — Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and Ozone (O3).

The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.

As one of the most densely populated countries in the world, Bangladesh has been struggling with air pollution for a long time. Dhaka continuously ranks among the world’s most polluted cities.

Brick kilns, vehicles run on fuel containing higher levels of sulphur, as well as construction work, have all been identified as major sources of air pollution.

Air quality further declines during the dry months — from October to April — but improves during the monsoon.

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