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20 Most Polluted Cities Of Asia Research

Pollution is one of the important concern of the world for sustainability. The report showcases 20 most polluted cities in Asia

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Definition / Scope

Pollution is the introduction of unwanted constituents or contaminants into the natural environment that leads to adverse changes in the environment. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollution has become one of the biggest challenge from every part of the globe. Scientist believe that if there is no control of the pollution then it will demolish every living being on earth. The types of pollution can be briefly bifurcated in – most prominently air followed by water, noise, thermal, soil contamination, plastic pollution, etc

Market Overview

The number of people exposed to dangerous levels of pollution is increasing, with an estimated 1 in 7 deaths in 2012 resulting from exposure to soil, water, air and/or chemical pollution. Toxic pollution was and remains one of the biggest global threats to human species and the environment- killing one in seven people in low- and middle-income countries. According to Pure Earth, The pollutants — lead, radionuclides, mercury, hexavalent chromium, pesticides and cadmium — collectively affect the health of 95 million people and account for 14.7 million Disability Adjusted Life Years lost in low and middle-income countries. 8.9 million People, alone, were killed by pollution worldwide in 2012, out of which 8.4 million lived in the developing countries and this can be seen in statistics – most of the cities with the high rates of pollution are situated in China, India, and Pakistan along with other Asian countries. However, not enough worldwide attention is given to this problem. In Asia, the air pollution caused by the particulate matter is worst in Delhi. It is closely followed by Islamabad, Dhaka, Beijing and Kathmandu. Air pollution is one of the main causes of premature deaths in the world.

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Key Metrics

Metrics Value Explanation
Base Year 2016 Researched through internet


Market Risks

As air pollution is quickly becoming an alarming issue, it has immensely affected the construction sector mostly in the Asian continent. Pollution regulation claim that regulations choke businesses. Fast deteriorating air qualities have led to tougher regulatory norms and it also includes automobile sector, they should be prepared to deal with possible public outrage and must devise ways for meeting such challenges like reducing carbon emissions, etc. There are a number of environmental problems related to the construction industry. These include erosion, contaminated soil, lead paint removal, air contamination by asbestos particles, and disposal of hazardous material, dust control and noise level. For eg. India is urbanised only to the extent of 31 per cent but urbanisation at a faster pace is imperative for a sustainable economic growth, adding that the construction industry has a major role in stepping up urban development but Growth of slums with lack of sanitation and absence of waste disposal add to the pollution. Other industries that have to bore the burden of pollution can be mining, coal industry, etc.

Top Market Opportunities

1) Citarum River, Indonesia One of the world’s most polluted rivers, over 5 million people reside in this river basin and rely on it as their primary water supply.

2) Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan As one of the largest dumping grounds of radioactive waste in all of Asia, Mailuu-Suu is not only heavily contaminated but there are a series of unstable uranium tailing pits in the hills surrounding the city.

3) Sukinda, India In Sukinda, which contains one of the largest open cast chromite ore mines in the world, 60% of the drinking water contains hexavalent chromium at levels more than double international standards. It is estimated that 84.75% of deaths in the mining areas — where regulations are non-existent —are due to chromite-related diseases. This Indian city has been listed as one of the most polluted in the world by the Blacksmith Institute.

4) Dhaka, Bangladesh The rivers in Dhaka have become highly toxic. 110 square kilometre area of the Shitalakkha, the Turag, the Balu and the Dhaleshwari – the surrounding rivers of Dhaka – is being continuously polluted by the contamination of tannery situated in Hazaribag.

5) Yamuna River, India The Yamuna is one of the most important rivers of north India. As the largest tributary of the Ganges, scientists estimate that roughly 60% of Delhi’s waste gets dumped into the river.

6) Tianying, China Tianying in Anhui province is one of the largest lead production bases in China which are largely used for Mining and processing. The average lead concentrations in air and soils were (respectively) 8.5 times and 10 times national health standards.

7) Vapi, India The cost of growth has been severe: levels of mercury in this India city’s groundwater are reportedly 96 times higher than WHO safety levels, and heavy metals are present in the air and the local produce.

8) Linfen, China Shanxi Province is at the heart of China's enormous and expanding coal industry, providing about two thirds of the nation's energy. Within this highly polluted region, Linfen has been identified as one of its most polluted cities with the main source of pollution being Automobile and industrial emissions.

9) Delhi, India As Delhi, has been ranked in air pollution, the main source being hazardous gasses from industries. In Delhi, the annual average is 153 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre of air), which is six times the WHO’s recommended maximum. At various times of the year, this number spikes to much higher levels.

10) Peshawar, Pakistan With a population of 3.5 million people, Peshawar joins the list because of the usual suspects (vehicle and industrial emissions), as well as brick kiln emissions from the brick-making industry in the city.

11) Khormabad, Iran Khorramabad, a city in western Iran, had the country's highest air pollution levels. One of the most populous cities in Iran, Khorramabad is an agriculture hub, which likely contributes to its air pollution problems.

12) Doha, Qatar The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released data suggesting that Doha’s air is some of the most polluted in the world. It concluded that Doha had the 12th highest average levels (93 ug/m3) of PM2.5 – small and fine particles, which are particularly dangerous to health. Al Wakrah (85 ug/m3) ranked 25th on the same list.

13) Narayonganj, Bangladesh In Narayanganj, neighbouring town of Dhaka, groundwater abstraction has increased at a faster rate from both the shallow Holocene alluvial aquifers and deeper aquifer to meet the demand of increasing urbanization and industrialisation. Chemical analyses of groundwater from different localities of the town unveils that groundwater quality is poor due to presence of high trace metal concentrations in a number of samples.

14) Rawalpindi, Pakistan Cutting of Forests, Pollution from Factories, Lowering of Ground Water Table, Pollution due to Increase in the Public and Private Transport , Increase of Solid Waste- More over in Rawalpindi/Islamabad the dumping site is not build as per required by the global environmental laws, what they do is just dig a huge sort of hole in the ground and dump the waste in it without providing the lining on the walls for the leachate etc, Pollution from Hospital Waste, constitute a big problem for the country.

15) Raipur, India When it comes to air pollution, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report concluded that Raipur has gained the dubious distinction of being the third worst city in India and has found its way on the list of top twenty polluted cities in world. the annual average levels of PM10 is 700 per cubic metre in some areas of city, which is 11 times more than Central Pollution Control Board's prescribed safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre.

16) Sumgayit, Azerbaijan Type of Pollution: Organic chemicals, heavy metals and oil. Source of Pollution: Industrial and petrochemical complexes. When the factories in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan were still operational, they released upwards of 12,000 tons of harmful emissions – like mercury – each year. Even though the majority of the factories have closed their doors, the pollution is still there. There is no work to speak of being done to clean up the area.

17) Baku, Azerbaijan Long an oil hub, Azerbaijan’s capital suffers from extensive pollution as a result of shipping and drilling.

18) Ahvaz, Iran According to the World Health Organization Ahvaz, Iran is now the most polluted city in the world, a problem that is only made worse by its constant dust storms.

19) Marilao River, Manila, The Philippines The river that flows through the Philippine capital is the Marilao River. Industrial waste is pumped into the Marilao, which itself should be a source of drinking water and agricultural necessity for the millions of residents living within its basin. Greenpeace have identified the Marilao as a major cause of concern.

20) Yangtze River, China The Yangtze River is the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. Yet the construction of infamous dams along the river’s course have caused widespread damage to the ecosystem. Furthermore, the natural flow of migratory fish was obstructed and biodiversity across the whole basin decreased dramatically.

Market Drivers

Rising pollution in the world has also led to an increase in opportunities for markets which help to tackle such problems, especially in China where markets and products related to reducing pollution are blooming, followed by other Asian countries. Solutions to pollution problems can be tackled by the combination of both the government and the private sector. For instance, in China, to deal with air pollution DIY entrepreneurs have developed ingenious—and affordable—products to satisfy the public's insatiable demand for pure air. Nearly 3 million air filters- a device composed of fibrous materials which removes solid particulates such as dust, pollen, mould, and bacteria from the air, were sold in 2012, an increase of roughly 50 percent on the previous year. Face masks are also popular buys on various e-commerce websites and come in a multitude of shapes and styles. Technology also plays an important role in reducing pollution; such as energy-efficient lighting illustrates the economic benefits and the market-transforming value of a pollution prevention philosophy. Using technologies available today, this program is expected to reduce air pollution 5%, in the U.S. According to Roland Berger, The analysis of carbon emissions by the industries is very important in order to combat pollution, but the state of such analysis is still in a primary stage of development, currently lacking a mature system of enforcement. In the future, such analytical work will become procedural and standardized as a foundation for further emission reduction initiatives. This will create vast business opportunities for the environmental protection industry.

Market Restraints

Increase in air pollution will be the most important growth drivers for the air quality equipment market. Increase in health concerns and strict regulations and control norms by government organizations have also led to an increase of Air Quality Monitoring Equipment Market. The market is segmented on the basis of regions such as Asia-Pacific, Europe, Americas, Middle East and Africa.

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Regulatory Trends

It can be said that it is a long road ahead to achieve total control over the sheet of pollution that has spread over the world and especially over Asia, but strict government norms, extensive research and peoples’ awareness has helped to bring the pollution levels down.

Market Size and Forecast

The cities with the highest rate of air pollution, according The Guardian. The world's average PM10 levels by region range from 26 to 208 ug/m3, with a world's average of 71 ug/m3. The report prepared by WHO was based on studying the air of these cities for presence of harmful gases such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide. The other aspect for preparing the report was particulate matter (or small airborne particles) which is among the most detrimental of these pollutants. Apart from 13 Indian cities, 5 cities from other South Asian countries figure in the above diagram. Three Pakistani cities – Karachi, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi - are in the list. Karachi had 117 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic metre, Peshawar had 111 micrograms, and Rawalpindi had 107 micrograms. There are also two Bangladeshi cities - Idgir and Narayanoganj which have 90 and 89 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic metre, respectively. This means that the Indian subcontinent is home to 85% of cities with the poorest air quality on Earth. The seven worst are all in India and Pakistan.

Air quality is an important factor which has to be maintained under control owing to its harmful and toxic pollutants- emissions from industries like power generation, cement manufacturing, chemical processing, oil and gas refining that cause negative health effects. Reducing these exhaust gases from industries is highly necessary. Therefore it is important to provide solutions for the treatment of the gases and pollutants and initiates the release of cleaner air. The global air quality control systems market is segmented on the basis of the types of technologies which include flue gas desulfurization (FGD), electrostatic precipitators, and fabric Filters, Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) control systems, scrubbers and mercury control systems. The global air quality control systems market is expected to reach $78.0 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2014 to 2019. The increasing demand for energy and rapid industrialization has led to increase in the emission of exhaust gases and toxic pollutants, creating a huge demand for these systems in various regions around the world. Between 2014 and 2019, the region is expected to witness the highest growth at a CAGR of 6.7%, to reach $45 billion by 2019, up from $28.6 billion in 2013. The Asian regional segment, on the other hand, is expected to grow at fastest rate from 2014 to 2019.

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