Pollution is the presence of harmful substances or contaminants present in the natural environment which causes adverse effects on living beings. According to the Oxford Dictionary, “Pollution is the process of making air, water, soil, etc. dirty; the state of being dirty.”
Pollution does not only affect the planet but also human beings, animals, and other living organisms. The different types of pollution affect humans in many ways posing risks to their health by causing adverse effects.
According to Pure Earth, toxic pollution is among the leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases globally. Non-communicable diseases account for 72% of all deaths, 16% of which are caused by toxic pollution. Toxic pollution is responsible for 22% of all cardiovascular diseases, 25% of stroke deaths, 40% of lung cancer deaths, and 53% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Humans have contributed to most of the pollution by burning fossil fuels in cars, factories, heavy-load vehicles, airplanes, cargo, and ships, etc. Water pollution is caused by disposing of waste to the nearby water body, disposing of chemicals, plastics, and other substances which decrease oxygen levels in the water, and soil pollution is done by disposing of non-degradable substances on land which then decreases the soil capability to withhold rainwater.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 91% of the human population is living in conditions where air quality exceeds the permissible limit of the organization. It evaluates the country with the concentration of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) which then determines how polluted the country is. The particles come from industry and vehicle exhaust and are very dangerous to human health.
When calculating, the WHO considers Air Quality Index (AQI) which calculates based on PM2.5, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide. The range of AQI ranges from 0-500 where 0 is the cleanest air and until the value 100 is considered satisfactory, above that is a danger to hazardous. Here is the list of the Top 10 Most Polluted Countries in the World whose AQI is more than satisfactory.
Nigeria is the 10th most polluted country in the world which produces waste of 3 million tonnes per year. One of the main contributors to pollution in Nigeria is the uncontrolled waste burning and Indoor air pollution which is the major problem for Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the pollution of Particulate Matter is 20 times the air quality guidelines and in the last 30 years, the number of deaths due to pollution has increased by 40%. Nigeria has a PM2.5 concentration of 44.84.
9. United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands 9th in the position of most polluted countries in the world where the average PM2.5 matter is around 49.93. Due to its high population, growth, infrastructure, high demand for energy, and overuse of natural resources has made the air quality index go down.
The country is situated in an arid land, with little precipitation and high temperature which makes it easy for people to experience the effect of climate change.
Home to the mighty Mount Everest, Nepal has an average PM 2.5 of 54.15 making it stand 8th in the position of most populated countries in the world. It is said that about 35,000 people die to pollution and 1 in 10 Nepalese suffer from lung-related illness due to the worsening air conditions in Nepal.
Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city has around 80% of people commuting via motorcycles which are one of the main contributors to Air Pollution.
With a PM2.5 level of 56.00, Kuwait is the 7th most polluted country in the world. One of the major contributors to the countries’ air pollution is due to the oil industry which is the source of significant amounts of pollution. With the oil production business, vehicular and industrial facilities have raised the pollution in the country.
In addition to air pollution, Kuwait also faces water pollution which already faces potable water unfit for drinking.
The 6th most polluted country in the world, Mongolia has an average PM 2.5 of 58.50. The largest source of pollution in Mongolia is due to the burning of coal and other biomass. And in the capital of Mongolia, it is said that the respiratory illness has increased over 270% and the children in the capital have 40% lower lung function.
During winter in Mongolia, the pollution will be increased that many people are advised not to burn coals to curb the pollution.
With an average PM 2.5 of 59.80, Bahrain is the 5th most polluted country in the world. The Gulf country of Bahrain suffers pollution due to the dust and sand storms that pick up harmful chemicals and other radioactive materials from as far as Sahara.
Afghanistan is 4th most polluted country in the world with an average of PM 2.5 of 61.80. It is said that the pollution has made 26,000 loose life due to air pollution and 3,483 people lost life due to conflict. About 80% of drinking water in the country is polluted as well due to low rainfall and irregular use of groundwater.
The 3rd most polluted country in the world is India with an average PM2.5 of 72.54. The most polluted city in India is Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Delhi which is the capital city of India is notorious for some of the worst air pollutions which force flight cancellation, traffic accidents, and many schools due to pollution levels.
Due to the pollution, one of the seven wonders of the world Taj Mahal marble is turning green which was white when constructed.
Pakistan has an average PM of 2.5 out of 74.27 making it the second most polluted country in the world. It is said that the Punjab region in Pakistan was consistently between nearly unhealthy to very unhealthy.
Pakistan is experiencing rising pollution from the growing number of vehicles on the roads, large-scale losses of trees, smoke from bricks kiln and steel mills, and the burning of garbage.
One of the most polluted countries in the world is Bangladesh which has an average PM of 2.5 out of 97.1. Bangladesh faces every form of air pollution such as Air, Water, Soil, and additionally Noise pollution.
The capital city of Bangladesh is one of the most polluted cities in the world where the burning of coal and wood is a major contributor to pollution. Brick making industry is the main source of income and the kiln used to make bricks uses coal or wood which is the reason why Dhaka is one of the major polluted cities in the world.