Istanbul 9th dirtiest city in world, Shanghai in China is dirtiest: Report

Türkiye’s most populous province of Istanbul has been selected as the ninth dirtiest city in the world in terms of the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) present in the air, a U.S. report has showed.

“The limit of nitrogen dioxide in cubic meters should be around 10 micrograms. But there is 35.3 microgram of NO2 in cubic meters in Istanbul,” a report by the U.S. Health Effects Institute has shown.

The institute conducted the report named “Air Quality in Cities and Health” in three-year research, examining the NO2 data in cities around the world between the years 2010 and 2019.

The report said that according to NO2 amount, the dirtiest city is Shanghai, China, followed by Moscow, Russia, and Tehran, Iran.

Russia’s St. Petersburg and China’s Beijing are the two cities on the list of “Top 5 dirtiest cities.”

“The very first reason for nitrogen dioxide gathering in the air is the exhaust smoke,” Melike Yavuz, a public health expert, told the daily Milliyet on Aug. 29.

She finds the result of the report “normal” while considering the number of vehicles in traffic in Istanbul.

The number of vehicles reached 4.7 million in March, a number denoting one-fourth of the city population.

“Inhaling NO2 would damage respiratory tracts in humans,” Yavuz said. “Children and elderly people are at great risk. The number of hospitalizations due to respiratory tract infections may rise.”

One other problem that NO2 may cause when it comes in contact with sulfur dioxide in the air is “acid rain.”

“The bad effects of nitrogen dioxide on human bodies may increase incrementally,” she added.

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