Data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that Shanghai places seventh on the list of the world’s most polluted megacities. The study compared levels of fine particulates – PM10 and PM2.5 – in 11 cities with populations over 14 million, Firstpost reports.
PM10 levels were measured in these urban areas between 2011 and 2015. Delhi was found to be the most polluted (approximately 225 μg/m3), followed by Cairo (175 μg/m3), Dhaka (160μg/m3), Kolkata (140 μg/m3), Mumbai (120 μg/m3), Beijing (110 μg/m3) and Shanghai (75 μg/m3). Other cities that made the list were Istanbul, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
The average annual level of PM2.5 in Shanghai was 52 μg/m3, while the average for Beijing was 85 μg/m3.
PM10 and PM2.5 contain sulfates, nitrates and black carbon and more. PM2.5 are tiny particles that can cause extreme damage to health. Not only do they impact the respiratory system but they can lead to asthma, lung cancer, heart disease and strokes.
Research also shows that roughly 80 percent of people who reside in urban environments (that monitor air pollution) are exposed to poor air that does not meet the standards set by WHO.
[Image Via China.org]