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As shocking as it might seem, the fact that Lucknow has been ranked among the top 10 most polluted city in the world, is now a reality.

While Delhi's air quality, according to the latest World Health Organization database for 2016, is at its worst, pollution bodies and the environment ministry say it's not a true reflection of the current reality because several measures and actions were taken in 2017, including implantation of the Graded Response Action Plan. Kanpur woke up to news of its unwanted accolade with pollution levels more than five times the WHO´s recommended safe limit.

"Around 3 billion people - more than 40 per cent of the world's population - still do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in their homes, the main source of household air pollution", it said.

Faridabad and Varanasi are not far behind in WHO's recent database containing a list of pollution levels in over 1,000 cities worldwide.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, 14 Indian cities are among the world's 20 most polluted, with Dehli making no progress in tackling its pollution problem.

It is noteworthy that nearly 1 million vehicles are added on the roads of Delhi every year and in spite of increased construction activities and vehicular movement, air quality in Delhi is showing signs of improvement. The WHO also said that the countries are also taking the required measures to curb the negative effects.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has already taken action in the matter.

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PM2.5 are tiny but deadly air particles, which can increase the likelihood of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. We are all breathing in highly polluted air, which needs to be checked right away.

The pollution levels in these cities is scary and is responsible for most of the health hazards one faces.

The study added that nine out of 10 people in the world breathe polluted air.

More than 90 per cent of victims come from low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, followed by others in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas. Power plants within a 300-km radius of a settlement can adversely affect air quality. But other pollution sources, including construction dust and the burning of crop stubble in the winter, continue unchecked.

Air pollution does not recognise borders.

"The good news is that we are seeing more and more governments increasing commitments to monitor and reduce air pollution as well as more global action from the health sector and other sectors like transport, housing and energy", he said.


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