12 Countries with the Dirtiest Air in the World

Air pollution is increasing problem in the world. Developed countries are battling this issue better since they have resources to improve public transportation and people have means to use more eco-friendly fuels and renewable energy resources. Insider Monkey staff compiled a list of 12 countries with the dirtiest air in the world. Most of the countries on the list are developing countries and some of them have economy which is dependent on the oil industry. This significantly adds up to air pollution.  Industrial growth and urbanization aggravate the problem even more. While we are well-familiar with outdoor pollutants and air pollution in general, very few people know about the existence of so-called “household” or indoor pollution. Many people use solid fuels such as wood, coal, and charcoal for heating and cooking. Inefficient heating and cooking practices produce high levels of indoor pollution, especially pollutants such as fine particles and carbon monoxide.

Besides air pollution caused by vehicles, majority of developing countries have serious problems with indoor pollution. Many people use solid fuels such as wood, coal, and charcoal for heating and cooking because they can not afford anything else. Sometimes they use trash or old tires as “fuel” which causes a lot of air pollution (indoor and outdoor pollution).  Inefficient heating and cooking practices produce high levels of indoor pollution, especially pollutants such as fine particles and carbon monoxide. Exposure is higher among women and children who spend more time indoors. According to World Health Organization, 4.3 million people die from exposure to household pollution and these numbers should not be taken lightly. Most countries on Insider Monkey’s list have issues with indoor pollution. Also, it is important to mention that high concentration of pollutants such as PM2.5 has been connected with a higher prevalence of lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease and many other health issues.

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