The steel town is the worst affected in a list of some 47 United Kingdom towns and cities that are either at or have broken the World Health Organisation's annual limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.
The new figures were released by the WHO along with the revelation that a staggering 9 out of 10 people around the world are still breathing polluted air, causing around 7 million deaths around the globe every year.
The WHO report indicates that Delhi is placed at no. 6 with an annual average Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 concentration of 143 micrograms per cubic metre in 2016. Kanpur woke up to news of its unwanted accolade with pollution levels more than five times the WHO´s recommended safe limit.
Centre and state governments must respond to this data in meaningful ways, ensuring stringent action to comply with clean air standards - in all cities, particularly the ones on this dismaying list, topped by Kanpur followed by Faridabad, Varanasi, Gaya, Patna, Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur. Ten Indian cities lead the list of the 20-most polluted cities in the world.
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In a call for Member States to take action urgently, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, warned that air pollution "threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalised people bear the brunt of the burden".
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. The combined effects of household air pollution and ambient air pollution become increasingly hard to address if not tackled early, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO Southeast Asia, said.
PM2.5 are tiny but deadly air particles, which can increase the likelihood of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Three other cities of the state picked by World Health Organization for pollution measurement were Kota, Alwar Udaipur and Alwar which stand at number 75, 76 and 83 in the list.
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The study added that nine out of 10 people in the world breathe polluted air.
Waste burning and deforestation are additional sources of air pollution, as are sand and desert dust, the agency says.
Rural air pollution is carried from the big cities by wind, with lorries and other long-distance traffic also now thought to play a larger role than expected.
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