Dirtiest Cities in the World

by Dennis Machicao

It is amazing the progress in past years that this and other countries have accomplished in developing systems, products and awareness to help save the environment. Whether they are large-scale endeavors in industry or small changes in lifestyle, they all contribute to a better quality of life and for a planet that will survive for millions of more years.

It’s all well and good that developing countries have taken up the green banner. But what about the underdeveloped countries, the poorer countries with their citizens’ individual survival is a daily struggle. Living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is not in the consciousness of someone that has no food, no shelter and no medical services.

Those countries that make a conscious effort to improve the environment are only a part of the puzzle for a greener earth. The positive is counteracted by an even bigger negative from the dirtiest countries on earth. Until economic conditions change for the better, these countries will still pollute and slow the overall progress of a cleanser environment.

According to a report by the WHO (World Health Organization) featured in Time, September 2011, and Ecocentric, a blog about all things green, over 2 million people die from indoor and outdoor air pollution. Tiny particles, identified as PM10 particles, can penetrate the lungs and bloodstream that can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and acute lower respiratory infections. The WHO’s guidelines of PM10 for air quality is 20 micrograms per cubic meter as an annual average. The data that they have accumulated shows that some cities have reached 300 micrograms per cubic metre.  Very disturbing.

And which are these dirties cities? The top ten are as follows:

1. Ahwaz, Iran

2. Ulan Bator, Mongolia

3. Sanadaj, Iran

4. Ludhiana, India

5. Quetta, Pakistan

6. Kermanshah, Iran

7. Peshawar, Pakistan

8. Gaberone, Botswana

9. Yasouj, Iran

10. Kanpor, India

Not all these cities are dirt poor however. They just have not changed their daily lifestyles for the better. Some still burn heavy polluting fuels for heat and energy like wood and even dung that create heavy thick smoke. Their automobiles and trucks are older models that do not have the latest anti-pollution devices. They pollute their rivers and lakes without thinking of the consequences.

I am sure that there are many more cities than these top ten that fall under minimum good environmental standards.  Education is the key but if their government leaders do not provide the awareness of the consequences of polluting their environment by enforcing strict laws and changing centuries’ old living habits, things will not change.

Taking care of the environment is a global challenge.  And no matter how much other countries better their environmental surrounding, if the other halves don’t do their part, the overall progress will be slowed. As we have witnessed in our own country, change takes a long time, hopefully Mother Earth has enough to spare.

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