After Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwandi, Noida, Patna, Lucknow, New Delhi, Jodhpur and Muzaffarpur are the ten most polluted cities in India and make up for the top 13 globally, as per the report. Delhi with an average PM 2.5 concentration at 113.5 micrograms per cubic metre was the most polluted capital in the world in 2018.
Jakarta and Hanoi were the two most polluted cities in Southeast Asia, and Jakarta could soon overtake Beijing in the rankings. While, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Bahrain and Kuwait topped the chart, countries like Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Australia and Sweden were among the least polluted as per the 2018's World Air Quality Report.
What's adding more fuel to the fire are the amplifying effects of climate change on air pollution.
The report is based on 2018 air quality data from public monitoring sources, such as government monitoring networks, supplemented with validated data from outdoor IQAir AirVisual monitors operated by private individuals and organisations.
Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people in Africa and South America were left in the dark because they do not have adequate equipment to monitor air quality.
The report accompanies an extended online interactive display of the world's most polluted cities, allowing further exploration of air quality across different regions and sub-regions in 2018, it said.
"Now everyone with a cellphone has free access to this data via the AirVisual platform".
The ranking - a one of its kind study that relies on ground-based sensors located in 3,000 cities from 73 countries - was compiled by IQAir Group, a manufacturer of air-monitoring sensors as well as purifiers and environmentalist group Greenpeace. "Communities and organizations from California to Kabul are supplementing governmental monitoring efforts with their own low-priced air quality monitoring networks, and are giving everyone access to more hyper-local information". In addition to human lives lost, there's an estimated global cost of $225 billion in lost labor, and trillions in medical costs.
The executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia said that these high pollution numbers can have enormous impacts on health and even our wallets.