Kathmandu ranks fourth most polluted city worldwide


February 20, 2024


Kathmandu ranks fourth most polluted city worldwide

Kathmandu, the federal capital of Nepal/ File

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu has secured the disheartening position of the fourth most polluted city globally, based on its air pollution levels.

At present, the air quality in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, is deemed unhealthy, with PM2.5 levels soaring to 184 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) as recorded at 9:45 am, according to data from IQ AirVisual, an organization specializing in global air-quality information.

PM2.5, the primary airborne pollutant consisting of solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, poses significant health risks.

The current PM2.5 concentration in Kathmandu exceeds the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual air quality guideline value by 24 times, as reported by IQAir.

Moreover, Bhaktapur faces a PM2.5 concentration 28.6 times higher than the WHO annual guideline value, registering at 196 μg/m3. In Lalitpur, the PM2.5 concentration stands at 12.5 times the WHO annual guideline, measuring at 155 μg/m3.

Kathmandu’s designation as the fourth most polluted city globally is based on IQ AirVisual rankings, with Chengdu in China holding the top spot, followed by Lahore and Delhi.

However, amidst concerning pollution levels, there are glimmers of hope as Prague, Czech Republic, Lyon, France, and Denver, USA are recognized among the world’s cleanest cities.