Pollution is a phenomenon that affects the whole world. At the root of this serious problem, which jeopardizes the health of living beings all over the planet, there are several factors.
Among the most common pollutants in urban areas we find particulate matter, that set of toxic particles that remain in the air and cause serious damage to vegetation (ozone in particular) and permanent or temporary damage to humans (in particular to load of the respiratory system).
Industrial activities, use of non-environmentally friendly domestic systems, excessive urbanization at the expense of green areas, intense use of vehicles, the presence of open landfills, are among the many factors responsible for global pollution, but some countries are more affected from this phenomenon.
So let ‘s see the ranking of the 10 most polluted countries in the world according to the pollution index calculated by Numbeo.
Country Pollution index
Egypt 85.65
Bangladesh 86.21
Monaco 86.33
Vietnam 86.47
87.63 Lebanon 88.37
Ghana 89.20
Mongolia 92.45
Myanmar 92.54
Afghanistan 93.45

10 – Egypt, 85.65
It is one of the most populated countries in Africa and the Middle East : it has about 96 million inhabitants. In addition to being among the most populous in the world, Egypt is also among the most polluted places on the planet , just think that the air pollution index in the country is 75.44 and in the capital Cairo the figure increases up to 84.86.
The reasons behind the phenomenon are the high presence of industries that produce particulate matter, together with vehicles and the poor ventilation that characterizes the arid climate of the various regions. Waste disposal is also poorly performedand the effects of this situation affect both people’s health and historical monuments, on which pollutants accumulate (and which therefore risk permanent damage).

9 – Bangladesh, 86.21
Here the high rate of pollution is due not only to industrial activities and intense traffic , but also to factors related to agriculture , in fact in the country it is customary to burn the residues of the crops that precede the moreover, in the fields there is extensive use of pesticides. These products jeopardize the quality of the waters, already plagued by pollution from arsenic, an element naturally present in the country’s soil. In Dhaka, where 10 million inhabitants live, the air pollution index is very high , 85.92.

8 – Monaco, 86.33
The Principality of Monaco is the most polluted country in Europe, and among the reasons behind this phenomenon we find both a climatic issue , that is, in the country there is never a strong presence of wind such as to avoid the accumulation of pollutants in the air, and the continuous increase of these substances, deriving from the numerous vehicles , industries and the use of fuel oil for heating systems .

7 – Vietnam, 86.47
In this country, the numerous industries, which have only recently been dotting the territory, are putting the country’s natural resources at risk every day, such as water and soil. However, other polluting factors must be sought in the past: the effects of the chemicals and herbicides used by the Americans during the conflict up to the 1970s still have significant repercussions on the environment today. Furthermore, Vietnam has serious waste disposal problems , just think that it is one of the Asian countries to throw more plastic into the sea. In the capital Hanoi the air quality is seriously compromised , the pollution index is 85.45.

6 – Nigeria, 87.63
It is one of the most polluted countries in the world and the data speak for themselves: the water pollution index is at most: 100.00. The Niger river that flows in its territory, in fact, is besieged by oil fields , among the most important in the world. However, oil extraction activities are not completely harmless and cause very invasive damage to the environment , affecting water, soil and air, seriously compromising human health.

5 – Lebanon, 88.37
This country is experiencing a real environmental emergency mainly linked to the disposal of waste, in fact the pollution index linked to these activities is 83.79.in the open air are found all over the country and consequently the quality of water, soil and air is severely compromised. In the most populated cities, such as the capital Beirut, clouds laden with pollutants make the air unbreathable and to complicate the situation we are witnessing more and more phenomena of deforestation and the settlement of illegal wells.

4 – Ghana, 89.20
Another African country afflicted by the scourge of pollution, this time it is Ghana , besieged by the increasingly cumbersome presence of electronic waste dumps (of internal and international origin). Unfortunately, it is the activities of disposing of such waste that make the situation worse: oftenclouds of black smoke invade the sky , and burning together with electronic material are also tires: the result and a lethal mix of pollutants. Water and soil are seriously compromised by the effects of these activities, conducted illegally, therefore without any kind of regulation.

3 – Mongolia, 92.45
Here, the air pollution index is very high : 90.73. In particular, in the capital Ulaan Bator the levels of particulate matter in the air have exceeded the threshold allowed by the WHO by more than one hundred times. In addition, the number of inhabitants , about 1.5 million, far exceeds what the city can accommodate (only half a million).
L’use of coal for heating, given that it is one of the coldest places in the world, and certainly among the factors that cause and feed this phenomenon, which is putting the health of the inhabitants more and more at risk.

2 – Myanmar, 92.54
It is the second most polluted country in the world. In these areas, the quality of the air is put at risk by excessive urbanization : like many Asian countries, the growth of cities does not go hand in hand with pollution prevention systems, such as an adequate use of renewable energy sources. With the intense urbanization, the most obvious consequence is the increase in traffic and industrieswhich contribute to increasingly invasive pollution of air, water and soil.

1 – Afghanistan, 93.45
In addition to being the scene of wars for decades, Afghanistan is also the most polluted country in the world. In the capital Kabul the air pollution index is 86.11, which means that the air is almost unbreathable .
Obviously, war is one of the factors that fuel the phenomenon of pollution, given that the most rural areas of the country have been abandoned, while cities such as Kabul, considered safer, have been overcrowded, with the consequent increase in traffic and waste.. Green areas in Kabul are non-existent, while the air is continually threatened by the combustion of plastic, coal, wood and tires, used for heating homes and camps.

Classification criteria
The classification is based on data collected by Numbeo on the Pollution Index. The value and the resultant of the following pollution indices:

  1. Air quality
  2. Access to drinking water
  3. Water pollution
  4. Waste management
  5. Perception of the population on cleanliness and order
  6. Sound and light pollution at night
  7. Presence of public green
  8. Degree of discomfort in living in the city due to pollution

The Pollution Index, however, attributes greater weight to items concerning air and water pollution and less to other indices such as noise pollution and the degree of discomfort of the population.

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