Dhaka's air quality was marked as 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' this morning (September 16, 2023).
With an air quality index (AQI) score of 136 at 9:01 am, Dhaka ranked 6th on the list of cities worldwide with worst air quality, according to IQAir.
Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, Indonesia’s Jakarta and China’s Beijing occupied the first three spots on the list, with AQI scores of 171, 159 and 156, respectively.
An AQI between 101 and 150 is considered ‘unhealthy’, particularly for sensitive groups.
Similarly, an AQI between 151 and 200 is considered 'unhealthy' while between 201-300 is ‘very unhealthy', and 301-400 is 'hazardous', posing severe health risks to residents.
AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, is used by government agencies to inform people how safe or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants: particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone.
Dhaka has long grappled with air pollution issues. Its air quality usually turns unhealthy in the winter and improves during the monsoon.