Top Cities with the Most Polluted Air

Top Cities with the most polluted air

Air pollution has become a widespread issue impacting a lot of developing and developed countries around the world. While it often goes under the radar, air pollution is killing over 4.2 million people globally with over 80 percent of people throughout the world in urban areas living in areas with poor air quality.1,2

While it’s a given that pollution will continue to increase along with the population of a country, some countries experience significant upticks in pollution. Highlighted below is a list of the top cities with the most polluted air and how aromatherapy might be an answer to countering the negative health impacts this can pose for your overall health.

The biggest issue associated with air pollution for a population is the number of health risks that can come along with it. Unfortunately, breathing in polluted air can cause all kinds of increased risk factors for various deadly diseases including but not limited to heart disease, stroke, and even various cancers.

air pollution

Causes of Air Pollution

Lack of Access to Clean Cooking

Believe it or not, but over 40 percent of the world still does not have access to clean cooking technology nor lighting technology. As a result, a lot of families throughout the world are continuing to use unclean sources for each, including the burning of charcoal and wood, which contributes to poor air quality conditions.

Vehicle Emissions

A majority of the countries throughout the world have continued to ignore air pollution and the dangers that can result from it. As a result, there has yet to be a crackdown on vehicle emissions, and as more and more people drive each year, the problem continues to spiral.

Reliance on Unclean Energy Sources

There continues to be a dependence on unclean energy sources, which results in increasing amounts of air pollution worldwide.

city with polluted air

Cities with the Most Air Pollution Around the Globe

Zabol, Iran

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Zabol ranked as the most polluted city in the world based on air pollution per cubic meter. This is an area of the world that suffers from all kinds of dust storms for months on end.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the severity of the pollution in Iran has to do with the lack of air quality control measures put in place by the government. Unlike China, Iran has not stepped up in terms of its effort to reduce air pollution.

This has led this particular city down a path where its residents are forced to breathe in dangerous levels of air pollution on a daily basis and deal with constant dust storms filled with unhealthy air for months at a time.

Gwalior, India

Gwalior consistently ranks as one of the most polluted cities in the world. In 2018, it ranked as the most polluted city in India with regards to air pollution, according to WHO. While Delhi ranks as the most polluted city in the world, it is not the most polluted in terms of air pollution.

The biggest reason for the dramatic rise in air pollution in India has to do with the same reasons that it has been rising globally. The use of inefficient vehicles, burning of waste matter, and dependence on fossil-fuel have led to significant increases in pollution in this city specifically.

Allahabad, India

This is another city that is dealing with significant levels of air pollution on a regular basis. One of the biggest issues impacting this city and its air quality is the consequence of changing air patterns, a rise in the number of drivers and vehicle emissions, increase in coal-burning power plants, and increase in deforestation.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh is another city that is dealing with significant increases in air pollution for various reasons. Not only can the rise be attributed to a lack of emission control, but it is also associated with increased industrialization.

Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia

This is a city that is continuing to suffer in terms of air quality largely due to the paid industrialization that occurred in the 1970s.3 The city itself is an industrial city which is largely why it continues to feature poor air quality to this day.

Patna, India

One of the main reasons this city features such poor air quality conditions has to do with the fact that it is a major agricultural trade center in India. As a result, there are a lot of power plants and transportation in the city. This has led to significant health issues in the population.

Additionally, this city features high concentrations of PM2.5, the most dangerous type of particulate pollution.4

car polluting air


Because there is little you can do about air pollution exposure if you are located in a polluted city, it is important to understand how to effectively counteract exposure to this kind of dangerous air pollution.

One of the best ways to counteract the negative impact that air pollution can have on you and your overall health is by incorporating forest bathing into your life. Forest bathing can effectively counteract increased exposure to serious amounts of dangerous air pollution.5

If you are unable to access a forest with natural healing properties, you could supplement through aromatherapy practice. By exposing yourself to healthy essential oils through

Photo credits: sarka/, elwynn/, Ody_Stocker/, VitaliiBashkatov/


By Savannah Wilson

Savannah is an aromatherapy enthusiast who takes pride in knowing everything about essential oils, from ylang-ylang to chamomile. When taking a break from learning more about essential oils, Savannah likes to spend her time reading books or working out.

Favorite MONQ blend: Sexy

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers.

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