Air pollution is so out of control in future ‘megacities’ in Africa and Asia that it is already responsible for around 180,000 excess deaths.
Exposure to the pollutants has increased four-fold as the cities start to expand. Levels of nitrogen dioxide have increased by 14 percent in the last year, while amounts of fine particles have risen 8 percent, say researchers from University College London.
Emerging industries and residential growth—which brings with it pollutants from car exhausts, waste burning and use of charcoal and fuelwood—are responsible for rising pollution levels in South Asian cities such as Dhaka and in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.
In all, air pollution has been responsible for around 180,000 excess deaths over the last 14 years, the researchers calculate.
(Source: Science Advances, 202; 8; doi: 10.1126/sciadvabm4435)