New Delhi most polluted capital for third year

New Delhi has been named the world’s most polluted capital in 2020, a title the Indian city has now claimed for the third straight year.

Swiss group IQAir conducted the study that measures air quality levels based on the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particles.

The 2020 World Air Quality Report placed 35 Indian cities inside the top 50 most polluted cities, based on data it gathered from 106 countries.

India as a whole emerged from the report as the world’s third most polluted country overall, behind only Bangladesh and Pakistan.

That’s despite an 11% reduction in the annual average for the damaging particle PM2.5, due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

The burning of crops in the neighboring state of Punjab contributed to toxic air returning to New Delhi in November to levels that exceeded the World Health Organization's annual exposure guideline by more than 14 times.

Further information published in partnership with Greenpeace Southeast Asia found that air pollution caused an estimated 54,000 premature deaths in New Delhi last year.