New Delhi is the most polluted city in the world for the third year in a row

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source: REUTERS

New Delhi was the world's most polluted capital for the third year in a row in 2020, a new report revealed.

Research by IQ AirVisual indicated that New Delhi repeats this year as the most polluted city; the level of contamination led the authorities to declare the crisis a public health emergency

New Delhi received the title of the most polluted capital city in the world for the second year in a row in 2019. Also, India contains 21 of the 30 most polluted cities globally, according to a study released Wednesday.

Research by IQ AirVisual, a Swiss-based group that collects air quality data globally, focused on the amount of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in major urban areas.

The study revealed the concentration of poisonous pm2.5 particles, less than 2.5 microns in diameter, and deeper transport into the lungs. Higher levels of PM2.5 could cause diseases like cancer and heart ailments.

The second place is occupied by the city of Lahore, in Pakistan; the third, Dhaka, Bangladesh; the fourth, Yangon, Myanmar; and fifth place in Chengdu, China. 

Mexico City ranks 34th with moderate air quality. 

According to the study, In 2019, new Delhi had a concentration of 98.6 in one cubic meter of air at an annual average level, more than double the Beijing level, which averaged 42.1 during the year. It was the 9th most filthy capital in the world.

The toxic air of New Delhi is caused by emissions from vehicles and industries, dust from construction sites, smoke from burning garbage, and crop residues in the nearby fields.

Last year, residents of New Delhi, home to more than 20 million people, were able to breathe "moderate" to "good" air for just four days in November and December, when pollution levels peaked.

Late last year, rising air pollution levels forced authorities, who called the crisis a public health emergency, to close schools twice.

However, the study said India saw widespread improvements in PM2.5 levels in 2019 compared to the previous year, largely due to favorable weather conditions, government efforts to clean the air, and an economic slowdown.

The study stated, despite reforms, India is still facing serious air pollution challenges.