London breathes filthiest air ever, air pollution levels worse than Beijing
The world is aware of the poor air quality in Beijing, but a shocker came earlier this week when pollution levels in English capital London were reported to be worse than that recorded in Beijing.
Shockingly, this is the first time ever that Air Quality Index showed particulate matter 2.5 concentrated more in London than in Beijing, though levels of nitrogen dioxide did spike higher in London in 2014.
According to the readings earlier this week, Air Quality Index showed particulate matter 2.5 concentrated at 197 micrograms per cubic meter in London, as opposed to 190 recorded at the same time in Beijing.
Following the revelation, certain areas of London were put on “Black Alert” – highest pollution warning level.
The air quality of cities such as Beijing and Delhi have been notoriously contaminated. According to Greenpeace East Asia, “red alerts and ‘airpocalypses’ will remain a feature of lives of many citizens’ of Chinese Capital for some time to come.”
A similar condition looms over Delhi that was rated “the most polluted city in the world for ambient air pollution by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014.” Delhi was the most polluted city in the world in the month of November 2016, with Central Pollution Control Board Delhi recording PM 2.5 in some areas of the Indian Capital as high as 999.
PM 2.5 is particulate matter which is 30 times finer than a strand of human hair. PM 2.5 can be easily inhaled to reach the lungs, from where it travels into the blood stream pose many health risks including respiratory diseases, heart disease, lung cancer and even strokes.
PM 2.5 is produced by all sorts of combustion from power plants, industries, vehicular emissions and residential wood burning. While in Beijing poor air pollution levels are a result of vehicular, industrial emission and construction dust, reports suggest ‘traffic pollution and air pollution from wood burning’ as the main culprits in London.