Dhaka’s air still unhealthy on Wednesday

People trying hard to avoid inhaling dust directly while walking at Postogola Bridge in Dhaka. The capital has long been grappling with air pollutionUNB file photo

Dhaka’s air quality is still in the 'unhealthy' zone Wednesday morning. With an air quality index (AQI) score of 156 at 9:30 am, the capital of Bangladesh ranked 13th in the list of cities worldwide with the worst air quality, reports UNB.

Pakistan’s Lahore, the United Arab Emirate’s Dubai, and Pakistan’s Karachi occupied the first three spots, with AQI scores of 211, 195, and 188, respectively.

An AQI between 151 and 200 is considered ‘unhealthy’ while between 201–300 is ‘’very unhealthy’, and 301–400 is 'hazardous', posing severe health risks to residents.

The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a particular city is and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.

The AQI in Bangladesh is based on five pollutants: particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and ozone.

Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution issues. Its air quality usually turns unhealthy in winter and improves during the monsoon.

Air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for death and disability worldwide. Breathing polluted air has long been recognised as increasing a person’s chances of developing heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, lung infections, and cancer, according to several studies.

As per World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, mainly due to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.