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GREEN >World Health Organization report raises alarm about bad air in Turkish cities

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Eight of the 10 cities with poor air pollution in Europe are from Turkey, according to data prepared from the World Health Organization on ultra-fine particles of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5s).

According to the WHO, the eastern provinces of Batman, Hakkari, Siirt and Iğdır, the western province of Afyon, the southeastern province of Gaziantep, the Central Anatolian province of Karaman and the southern province of Isparta all suffer from bad air. The two remaining cities in the top 10 are Tetovo in Macedonia at number one and Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina at number five.

If the European list excludes Turkey, the top 10 reads Tetovo, Tuzla, Skopje (Macedonia), Zywiec (Poland), Pszczyna (Poland), Dimitrovgad (Bulgaria), Pljevlja (Montenegro), Rybnik (Poland), Bitola (Macedonia) and Wodzislaw Slaski (Poland). 

Tetovo in Macedonia has the worst PM2.5 air pollution in Europe, according to the WHO data.

The data showed that Zabol in Iran has the worst air overall. Zabol is followed by Gwalior and Allahabad in India and Riyadh and al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia. Ten cities from India, four cities from China, three cities from Saudi Arabia and one city each from Cameroon and Pakistan constituted the top 20 list. 

When the list of selected global cities with most polluted air in Europe is examined, Istanbul ranks first. Istanbul is followed by Warsaw, Budapest, Bucharest and Jerusalem. 

According to WHO, billions of people in cities around the world are exposed to dangerous air, but pollution levels vary. The WHO data showed that some 12.6 million people die each year due to air and environment pollution. 

When cities in the United States and Canada are examined, the state of California dominates the list with most polluted cities. The highest ranking goes to Visalia and Porterville.

In North and South America, Coyhaique in Chile ranks worst, while Lima in Peru comes out worst for major cities in the region.

Bamenda in Cameroon tops the pollution list for Africa – which ranking eighth worst in the world – while Kampala in Uganda ranks worst for major African cities.

By contrast, cities in New Zealand and Australia at least match the WHO’s recommended levels.

The Indian capital Delhi remains the worst major Asian city for PM2.5 air pollution. The worst Middle Eastern city on the list is Riyadh.

February/15/2017

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