Cairo most polluted city on Earth, report

Mohammed El-Said
3 Min Read

Cairo ranked as the most polluted city on earth, according to a recent study by Eco Experts. The study classified world cities based on various types of obstruction, including air, light, and noise pollution. Zurich is the cleanest city in the world.

According to the study, Cairo is the most toxic city, scoring in the bottom three for air, light, and noise pollution, followed by Delhi, Beijing, Moscow, Istanbul, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Paris, and Los Angeles.

Egypt faces the black clouds annually following the harvesting rice season, in summer months. The black cloud is a result of burning huge amounts of rice straw in the cultivated land in the Nile Delta.

Egypt’s Ministry of Environment also warned in a recent report that the percentage of air pollution has increased in Egypt over permitted limits, reaching 81% particularly from 2014 to 2017.

Depending on air pollution data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the study focused on 48 cities. The team also accessed information from light pollution, while noise pollution data was obtained from the Mimi Hearing Index.

According to the WHO’s estimates, nine out of 10 people around the world are exposed to air pollution, and around 7 million people die annually from exposure to fine particulate matter, which can invade the body and cause serious cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, such as heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, and respiratory diseases

The author of the study, Fran Whittaker-Wood said: “when you think of pollution, you’ll probably be imagining smog-filled air hanging over cities and shrouding the tops of skyscrapers. But there are other kinds of pollution—some visible, some invisible—that can make life in an already noxious city that bit more unpleasant. Think deafening noises and blinding lights.”

“Studies have linked intense noise to heart disease, high blood pressure and stress, while prolonged exposure to bright lights has been found to cause sleep deprivation and diabetes,” Whittaker-Wood added.

According to the WHO’s report, air pollution was responsible for the death of over 43,000 people in Egypt in 2012. A recent report from the United Nations Environment programme in December, pointed out that rates of respiratory disease have increased, adding to the burden on the state’s already-ailing hospitals. Citing the World Bank, the report indicates that the Egyptian economy is taking a pummelling, with poor air quality knocking off at least 1% of the gross domestic product annually.

Share This Article
Mohammed El-Said is the Science Editor for the Daily News Egypt with over 8 years of experience as a journalist. His work appeared in the Science Magazine, Nature Middle East, Scientific American Arabic Edition, SciDev and other regional and international media outlets. El-Said graduated with a bachelor's degree and MSc in Human Geography, and he is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at Cairo University. He also had a diploma in media translation from the American University in Cairo.
Leave a comment