Despite the heatwave, Dhaka’s air quality remains unhealthy

As the heat wave continues to affect daily life, Dhaka’s air quality has been labelled “unhealthy”.

At 8:59 a.m. on Thursday, Dhaka had an air quality index (AQI) score of 156, ranking ninth among cities with the worst air quality in the world.

Pakistan’s Lahore, India’s Delhi, and Nepal’s Kathmandu topped the list, with AQI scores of 206, 191, and 178, respectively.

When the AQI value for particle pollution is between 101 and 150, air quality is considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” between 150 and 200 is “unhealthy,” between 201 and 300 is “very unhealthy,” and 301 or higher is considered “hazardous,” posing serious health risks to residents.

In Bangladesh, the AQI is calculated using five criteria pollutants: PM10 and PM2.5, NO2, CO, SO2, and Ozone.

Dhaka has long been dealing with air pollution issues. Its air quality usually deteriorates in the winter and improves during the monsoon.

Air pollution is consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading causes of death and disability.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution kills approximately seven million people worldwide each year, primarily due to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.

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