8 Major Cities With the Worst Pollution in the World

Pollution is something that most residents in a particular nation have to deal with. Pollution manifests itself in various ways, including trash, air pollution, and noise pollution. Some cities around the globe are so filthy that they pose a threat to the health of the people who live there. 

Major cities with the worst pollution are notorious. The air quality in these cities is always a huge concern, and it’s usually pretty difficult to breathe there.

It’s not just about the air quality either because other factors contribute to poor air quality. The amount of trash, vast amounts of automobiles, and other things make an environment so polluted that it becomes unhealthy for citizens.

Each year, new studies find that the world’s major cities are getting more polluted. Some international organizations are attempting to help these cities to reduce pollution that affects people, and they even maintain an Air Quality Database

Unfortunately, some of those reached their peak in terms of pollution, and it would take the effort of every one of us to change that. Here is a list of the cities with the worst air pollution globally.

Let’s go!

World’s Major Cities with the Worst Pollution

1. Delhi, India

Delhi India

The city of Delhi is known for its horrible air quality. Many people have been forced to live with the garbage and filth in the area for years, but things may change soon. 

Air pollution claimed the lives of around 54,000 people in Delhi throughout the year 2021.

You may – and should – blame local vehicles, coal-fired power stations, and industrial fires, but crop burning is one of the most noticeable sources.

The Indian government has recently enforced many new regulations, and many people are hopeful that things will get better very soon. For years, people were fed up with how dirty their environment was and how the government was doing nothing about it. 

2. Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar is a city that sits on the edge of Pakistan.

Air pollution has been a major problem for years, but it’s getting worse than ever. Many of the residents there blame all of the nearby agriculture and trash burning in and around the city. 

Many cars in the city operate on diesel or low-quality gasoline, resulting in higher-than-necessary emissions, but the biggest concern is Peshawar’s 450 brick kilns.

These kilns emit vast amounts of pollutants, like burning rubber, which causes respiratory illnesses and losses in productivity.

3. Onitsha, Nigeria

Onitsha Nigeria

Onitsha is a metropolis in Africa, which is heavily industrialized, and as a result, the city’s air pollution levels have been rising in recent years. According to the World Health Organization, the air quality in this city is 30 times worse than the recommended level. 

Construction sites, traffic, diesel smoke, and a lack of suitable waste disposal systems are all factors that have contributed to the high levels of pollution in the area. Onitsha has made great efforts to introduce more efficient traffic systems and promote clean energy generation in recent years. The city is trying to bring down pollution levels to improve the local quality of life.

4. Lima, Peru

The air in Peru’s capital, Lima, is far from healthy. Public transportation is primarily to blame for the deterioration of the air quality in the city. Nearly 5000 individuals died due to air pollution and contamination between 2007 and 2011. The city has too many factories and older vehicles operating on diesel, which contributes to the high levels of sulfur dioxide that the city produces. The older the car, the more pollution it emits, but newer vehicles produce less pollution.

5. Accra, Ghana

Accra Ghana

Accra is sixth on the list of cities with the most polluted air globally. This sector’s primary issue is poor garbage disposal, mainly obsolete electrical gadgets. Toxic gases released by improper disposal of the devices have entirely poisoned the air. 

An estimated 129,000 tons of garbage are disposed of each year. To recover the copper, this debris is frequently burned. Lead and mercury spilled into the environment, poisoned and fouled the air, hurting the city’s 250,000 population.

6. Zabol, Iran

Zabol Iran

Pollution is unavoidable in areas of great poverty. Zabol, a city in Iran’s east, is well-known for its high levels of poverty and corruption. The city must face the so-called “120 days of wind,” which causes massive volumes of dust to blanket the whole area. Zabol also has the highest level of PM, resulting in exceptionally terrible pollution that makes it difficult for people to live and even stay healthy.

7. Moscow, Russia

The Russian capital’s air pollution is not particularly awful on a worldwide scale – it is not included among the world’s top 500 worst cities – but it has the greatest amount of light pollution of any city on the planet.

Additionally, Moscow is the seventh noisiest city on the planet.

This has been an ongoing issue for a long period. According to the local Environmental Health Service, 70% of the city was in a zone of noise discomfort in 2007.

Individuals who violate noise rules are subject to fines, but they don’t implement them that much.

8. Hotan, China

Hotan China

With a PM 2.5 average of 110.2, Hotan topped the IQ Air tables. Hotan’s frequent and violent dust storms intensify an issue that affects many other Chinese cities (Kashgar, Puyang, Hebi, Anyang, among others). While industrial pollution, automobile emissions, and filthy fuel sources are all recognized as crucial contributors, dust storms are the primary problem, reducing vision to less than 100 meters.

“These massive clouds of fine and coarse particles make the air exceedingly filthy and harmful to breathe, with these particles wreaking havoc on the lungs and other bodily systems. Scarring of the lung tissue can develop, resulting in various adverse health impacts, and the smallest particles can even reach the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on the body’s many systems,” according to IQAir.

Author’s Note

It’s no surprise that pollution is a big issue in many major cities. The leading cause is the lack of regulation for pollution and other city problems.

Many countries have set caps on the amount of pollution that can be created, but these are ignored or blatantly flaunted in many cases. This is especially true with large-scale industries that produce tons of emissions – India, China, and Russia. 

While there are some good laws in these countries to deal with air pollution, they aren’t enough to solve the problem. Many of these laws are very vague on how to handle harmful pollutants and effectively stop them from being created without causing economic harm to businesses that negatively affect the economy.

Here are some tips on reducing pollution in our city so that our future generations can live a cleaner life:

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