10 of the Most Highly Polluted Cities in the World

It is a known fact that air quality has deteriorated worldwide in many towns and cities over the last few years. An ever increasing population and a heavy dependence on fossil fuels have led to these urban areas suffering from particularly unhealthy amounts of pollution. It is a problem which seems to be getting worse as economies thrive and profits are put before the well being of the local inhabitants. Whilst all cities are going to be affected by pollution in one way or another, there are some cities which can actually be considered as dangerous. Here we highlight 10 of the worst polluted cities in the world.
10

Sumgayit (Azerbaijan)

Sumgayit (Azerbaijan) This city is the victim of having little or no government regulation in terms of pollution. Heavily industrialised in the past, the atmosphere is now highly toxic and is the reason for many complaints in the area. Over 100,000 factories pushed dangerous levels of mercury into the air while they were in operation.
9

Mexico City (Mexico)

Mexico City (Mexico) It’s hard to believe that Mexico City was once one of the cleanest cities in the world. This was over 70 years ago, but these days it is a country with some of the worst air quality. High amounts of nitrogen dioxide permeate through atmosphere and visibility in the daytime is less than 1 mile due to the dense smog.
8

Dhaka (Bangladesh)

Dhaka (Bangladesh) Bangladesh according to standards set by the World Health Organisation has levels of pollution which are way above the acceptable limits. In fact the air is highly polluted with both sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide which seems to be the main reason for over 10,000 premature deaths per year.
7

Lagos (Nigeria)

Lagos (Nigeria) Lagos is one of the most thriving economic hubs in Africa but it is also one of the most polluted. Nearly 11 million citizens have to endure a densely populated city with very poor air quality. Smoke fills the atmosphere and this has been attributed to the wide use of old and badly maintained vehicles as well as the burning of organic materials.
6

Los Angeles (USA)

Los Angeles (USA) Los Angeles is a city in the richest country on the planet but that doesn’t stop it from being a city that is also blighted by pollution. It’s hardly a surprise when you consider the car is a way of life in the state of California. Smog is part of the usual skyline and traffic jams only contribute to this misery.
5

Dzerzhinsk (Russia)

Dzerzhinsk (Russia) This city is so badly polluted by chemicals that it has actually been listed on the Guinness Book of Records. Coupled with the fact that its mortality rate is more than double that of the birth rate, it’s easy to see why Dzerzhinsk might have a problem. A more worrying fact is that life expectancy is only 45 years old.
4

Chernobyl (Ukraine)

Chernobyl (Ukraine) Who hasn’t heard of Chernobyl? In fact it is probably one of the most infamous places on earth and for good reason. The last inhabitants of the city evacuated in 1986 and ever since that nuclear disaster the levels of radiation have remained deadly.
3

Linfen, Shanxi (China)

Linfen, Shanxi (China) This city was once the most polluted in the world and although the air is not as dangerous as some of the other cities, the high dependency on coal gives the atmosphere a depressing black smog. Cyclists and pedestrians alike are regularly seen wearing dusk masks to protect their lungs. Even farmers have difficulty selling their crops because of the widespread pollution.
2

Mumbai (India)

Mumbai (India) Mumbai has become a highly polluted city in recent times. The air contains toxins which include ammonia and lead as well as nitrogen dioxide. The problem is made worse due to the ever expanding population. More and more cars are appearing with over 450 registered each and every day. This situation has led to more incidences of a whole range of respiratory illnesses.
1

Ahvaz (Iran)

Ahvaz (Iran) It is this little known city in Iran which has the dubious honour of being the most polluted city in the world. Ahvaz has the highest recorded amount of tiny air born particles than any other city on earth. The city has 372 micrograms per cubic meter which is nearly 100 more than the second most polluted city in the world! [smartads]

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