Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

Most Polluted Country

The presence or introduction of harmful substances that can negatively affect the natural environment is known as pollution, with air and water pollution being the most prevalent types. In addition to these, there are various other forms of pollution, such as sound, light, and soil pollution. The detrimental effects of pollution can be extensive and enduring, posing a significant risk to the wellbeing of humans, animals, plants, and entire ecosystems.

The top 10 countries with the highest levels of pollution were Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kuwait, India, Egypt, and Tajikistan, while Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, and New Zealand were able to comply with the World Health Organization (WHO) PM2.5 guideline of an annual average of 5 Aug/m3 or lower.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the concentration of PM2.5 should not exceed 5 micrograms per cubic meter. In terms of air pollution levels, Chad had the highest average at 89.7, followed by Iraq with an average of 80.1. Pakistan ranked third with an average of 70.9, and Bahrain was fourth with 66.6. Bangladesh, which was previously ranked as the country with the worst air in 2021, saw improvements and was ranked fifth with PM2.5 levels decreasing from 76.9 to 65.8.

Although India has some of the most polluted cities in the world, it ranked eighth in the latest report with a PM2.5 concentration of 53.3. The report also highlighted that India and Pakistan had the worst air quality in the Central and South Asian region, where almost 60% of the population lives in areas with PM2.5 levels seven times higher than WHO’s recommended levels. The report revealed that one in ten people globally live in areas where air pollution is a threat to health. The US Pacific territory Guam had the cleanest air with a PM2.5 concentration of 1.3, and Canberra had the cleanest air for a capital city, with 2.8. The index was based on data from over 30,000 air quality monitors in more than 7,300 locations in 131 countries, territories, and regions.

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Top 10 Most Polluted Countries in the World

Here is the list of the Top 10 Most Polluted Countries in the world 2023.

Rank

Most Polluted Countries

1

Chad

2

Iraq

3

Pakistan

4

Bahrain

5

Bangladesh

6

Burkina Faso

7

Kuwait

8

India

9

Egypt

10

Tajikistan

Let us see each country in detail.

1. Chad 

Chad is a landlocked country in Central Africa that is facing several environmental challenges, including deforestation, desertification, soil degradation, and water pollution. One of the major environmental problems in Chad is related to its oil production. The country is one of the largest oil producers in Africa, and the extraction, transportation, and refining of oil can lead to air, water, and soil pollution. Oil spills, gas flaring, and leaks from pipelines and storage facilities have caused environmental damage and health problems for communities living near oil facilities. Another major environmental challenge in Chad is the degradation of natural resources, including deforestation, soil erosion, and desertification, which can lead to loss of biodiversity and the depletion of water resources. These issues are often caused by unsustainable land use practices, overgrazing, and climate change.

In addition to these challenges, Chad also faces issues with waste management and pollution from artisanal mining, which can result in water and soil pollution. Overall, while Chad is not considered one of the most polluted countries globally, it does face significant environmental challenges that require attention and action to address. The government and various organizations are working to implement measures to tackle these challenges and promote sustainable development in the country.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

2. Iraq

Iraq is a country that faces significant environmental challenges, including air, water, and soil pollution. The causes of pollution in Iraq are varied and complex, but some of the main factors contributing to environmental degradation in the country include, Iraq is one of the world’s largest oil-producing countries, and the extraction, transportation, and refining of oil can lead to significant environmental pollution. Oil spills, gas flaring, and leaks from pipelines and storage facilities have caused environmental damage and health problems for communities living near oil facilities. Iraq has experienced decades of war and conflict, which have resulted in the destruction of infrastructure and environmental resources. The use of weapons, such as depleted uranium, has also led to contamination of soil and water sources. Iraq has a growing industrial sector, which includes the production of cement, petrochemicals, and fertilizers. These industries can lead to air and water pollution. Iraq faces challenges with waste management, including the improper disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials, which can result in water and soil pollution.

Overall, the combination of these factors has contributed to Iraq’s reputation as a polluted country. However, the government and various organizations are working to address these challenges and promote sustainable development in the country. For example, there have been efforts to invest in renewable energy and to promote more sustainable practices in the oil industry.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

3. Pakistan

Pakistan is a country that faces significant environmental challenges, including air, water, and soil pollution. The causes of pollution in Pakistan are varied and complex, but some of the main factors contributing to environmental degradation in the country include, Industrial activity of Pakistan has a growing industrial sector, which includes the production of textiles, chemicals, and fertilizer. These industries can lead to air and water pollution. Transportation in  Pakistan has a rapidly growing transportation sector, and the emissions from vehicles can lead to air pollution. Agriculture is a significant contributor to the Pakistani economy, but the use of pesticides and fertilizers can lead to soil and water pollution. Pakistan faces challenges with waste management, including the improper disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials, which can result in water and soil pollution. Pakistan relies heavily on fossil fuels for energy production, which can lead to air pollution and contribute to climate change.

Overall, the combination of these factors has contributed to Pakistan’s reputation as a polluted country. However, the government and various organizations are working to address these challenges and promote sustainable development in the country. For example, there have been efforts to invest in renewable energy and to promote more sustainable practices in the industrial and agricultural sectors.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

4. Bahrain

Bahrain, on the other hand, is a small island country in the Persian Gulf that faces challenges related to air pollution. The main sources of pollution in Bahrain include emissions from the oil and gas industry, transportation, and industrial activities. The country has a high concentration of oil refineries and petrochemical plants, which emit large quantities of pollutants into the air. In addition, Bahrain experiences sand and dust storms, which can worsen air quality.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

5. Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the countries that faces significant environmental challenges, including air and water pollution. However, it is not accurate to label it as the most polluted country. Several other countries, particularly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, also experience severe environmental degradation due to various factors such as industrialization, rapid urbanization, inadequate waste management, and lax environmental regulations. According to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2020, which ranks countries based on environmental health and ecosystem vitality, Bangladesh ranked 179th out of 180 countries. This low ranking indicates the country’s significant environmental challenges and the need for urgent action to improve environmental conditions.

However, it is worth noting that Bangladesh has made progress in improving air and water quality in recent years, particularly in the capital city, Dhaka, through measures such as reducing brick kilns and promoting public transport.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

6. Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, faces several environmental challenges, including deforestation, desertification, and soil degradation. However, it is not considered one of the most polluted countries in the world.Several other countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, face more significant environmental pollution problems due to factors such as rapid industrialization, urbanization, and lax environmental regulations. For example, countries like China, India, and Pakistan are known to have high levels of air pollution due to heavy industrialization and transportation emissions.

It is essential to note that while Burkina Faso may not be one of the most polluted countries globally, the country still faces significant environmental challenges that require action to address. The government and various organizations have been implementing measures to tackle these challenges, including reforestation programs and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

7. Kuwait

Kuwait is a country that is known to have high levels of air pollution, particularly in its urban areas. The main sources of air pollution in Kuwait include industrial emissions, transportation, and dust storms, which can cause health problems such as respiratory issues and cardiovascular disease. Kuwait is also known for its oil industry, which is a significant contributor to air pollution in the country. The country has a high concentration of oil refineries and petrochemical plants, which emit large quantities of pollutants into the air.

In addition to air pollution, Kuwait also faces challenges with water pollution due to oil spills and other industrial pollutants. These factors have contributed to Kuwait’s reputation as a polluted country.However, it is worth noting that the Kuwaiti government has been taking steps to address these environmental challenges. For example, it has implemented measures to reduce emissions from industrial sources and promote the use of renewable energy. The country has also invested in water treatment plants and other initiatives to improve water quality. While more work needs to be done, these efforts demonstrate a commitment to addressing environmental issues in Kuwait.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

8. India 

With an average PM2.5 concentration of 51.90, India ranks as the eighth-most polluted country and third most air polluted country in the world. Out of the 30 most polluted cities globally, 21 of them are located in India. Kanpur is the most polluted city in India and the world, where the local medical college treats around 600 respiratory illness patients every month. Pollution in India is primarily caused by vehicles, coal and wood burning, dust storms, and forest fires. In particular, Delhi, the country’s capital region, is notorious for having some of the worst air quality in India. The pollution has led to flight cancellations, traffic accidents, school closures, and even discoloration of the Taj Mahal’s white marble walls, turning them yellow and green. Pollution in rural areas is also a severe problem in India, as people still rely on wood and dung as fuels for cooking and heating, and continue to practice burning crop stubble.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

9. Egypt 

Egypt is not the most polluted country in the world, but it is one of the top 10 most polluted countries, according to the latest rankings. The rankings take into account several factors, including air, water, and soil pollution, as well as waste management practices and other environmental factors. While Egypt has made efforts to address its pollution challenges in recent years, there is still much work to be done to ensure a sustainable and healthy environment for its citizens.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

10. Tajikistan

Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia that faces challenges related to air and water pollution. The main sources of pollution in Tajikistan include industrial emissions, transportation, and burning of solid fuels for cooking and heating, which can cause health problems such as respiratory issues and cardiovascular disease. In addition, Tajikistan also faces challenges related to water pollution, as a result of inadequate wastewater treatment and discharge of industrial pollutants into waterways.

Most Polluted Countries in the World 2023 [India at Top 10]

Which is the Most Polluted Country?

Bangladesh has been overtaken by Chad as the country with the most polluted air in the world. The report analyzed data from 131 countries and compared it to the World Health Organization’s global air quality guidelines (AQG). Last year’s data showed air pollutants in Chad at a level more than 17 times higher than the WHO guideline, pushing the country to the top of the list of the most polluted air. In the previous year’s report, Chad was ranked just under Bangladesh as the country with the second most polluted air. The report highlights that air pollution remains the largest environmental health threat worldwide, causing 93 billion days of illness and over six million deaths each year. Exposure to air pollution can lead to various health conditions, including but not limited to, asthma, cancer, lung illnesses, heart disease, and premature mortality.

The report also points out that the data for Chad is only collected from a single monitoring point in the city of N’Djamena, and only 19 out of Africa’s 54 countries have sufficient air quality data to be included in the report. However, the number of countries with sufficient data has increased from only 12 in the previous year, indicating that the lack of access to monitoring stations in Africa and the Middle East has exacerbated the air pollution problem. The number of air pollutants (weighted by population) rose by 18% in Chad from 2021 to 2022. In 2021, the WHO reduced the acceptable amounts of delicate particulate matter used to measure air quality to reduce air pollution-related deaths and overall threats to global health. This change was based on new data that showed increased evidence of the detrimental health effects of poor air quality.

Dirtiest Country in the World

The Dirtiest Contry in the world is India. The transport industry in India is accountable for 20-35% of the country’s PM2.5 pollution, while the use of biomass fuels, industrial facilities, and coal-fired power plants are also significant contributors to air quality degradation. Delhi ranks fourth among the top 50 most polluted cities globally, with Lahore, Pakistan, taking the top spot, followed by Hotan, China, and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan at third. Delhi’s PM2.5 concentration is approximately 20 times higher than the recommended limit. The study distinguishes between “big” Delhi and the capital city of New Delhi, with both ranking among the top 10 most polluted cities, although N’Djamena in Chad is the most polluted capital in the world. Pollution levels have reduced in areas of the National Capital Region (NCR), including Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Faridabad. According to the data, Gurugram witnessed a 34% decline in PM2.5 levels, and Faridabad saw a 21% drop from the average levels observed in previous years. Delhi’s pollution levels have decreased by 8%.

The research highlights that pollution levels have decreased significantly in 31 cities, including 10 in Uttar Pradesh and seven in Haryana. However, 38 cities and towns have experienced an increase in pollution levels compared to the national average in previous years. Of the six major cities surveyed, Kolkata is the most polluted, followed by Delhi. Chennai is the cleanest, with pollution levels only five times the WHO-recommended safe threshold. Pollution levels in Hyderabad and Bengaluru have been higher than the average since 2017.

Conclusion

The top 10 most polluted countries in the world in 2023 are Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kuwait, India, Egypt, and Tajikistan. These countries face various environmental challenges such as oil production, war and conflict, industrial activity, transportation, agriculture, waste management, and energy production, which contribute to air, water, and soil pollution. The detrimental effects of pollution can be extensive and enduring, posing a significant risk to the wellbeing of humans, animals, plants, and entire ecosystems. However, there are ongoing efforts by the governments and various organizations to address these challenges and promote sustainable development in these countries. Some countries such as Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, and New Zealand have been able to comply with the World Health Organization (WHO) PM2.5 guideline of an annual average of 5 Aug/m3 or lower, indicating successful efforts towards environmental conservation.

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Categories: Top 10 News
Source: sef.edu.vn

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