Çorum, Erzurum ranked on Europe’s most polluted cities list
Turkey’s Çorum and Erzurum were among the top 10 cities of Europe with the most polluted air, according to a report, while Turkey ranks as the 46th country in the world list with an average particle rate of 18.70 per cubic meter.
In 26 of the 106 countries included in the IQAir 2020 Air Quality report, the PM 2.5 rate, known as particulate matter, was determined to be above the upper limit - a development that can directly affect the ecological balance.
New Delhi was recorded as the most polluted capital for three years in a row following the measurements, while Bangladesh, Pakistan and India stayed at the top of the list of countries with the most polluted air.
The average particle rate per cubic meter was 77.10 for Bangladesh, which is at the top of the list, while Pakistan ranked second with 59, and India ranked third with 51.90.
While the Central Anatolian province of Çorum was in the seventh place in the list of cities with the most polluted air in Europe with 36 particle rate per cubic meter, the eastern province of Erzurum was in the 10th place with 34.2.
The northwestern province of Düzce was ranked 11th in the list with 33.
Experts evaluating the report point out factors such as fossil fuel use, urbanization and industrialization among the main causes of air pollution in Turkey.
Environmental Engineer Serkan Soyuer said that there has been a serious increase in air pollution with a rise in the level of urbanization and industrialization breakthroughs in the country.
“Due to the pollutants, originating from the fuels used for heating purposes in the residences or from industrial chimneys, being released into the atmosphere uncontrollably, combined with the lack of adequate precautions in many cities, a serious problem of air pollution has emerged,” Soyuer said.
Stressing that the types of energy used or preferred to be used in different sectors may be a significant determinant in the increase of air pollution, the expert noted that fossil fuels with high polluting properties such as oil and coal are frequently used in Turkey.
However, Soyuer gave the good news that a tendency towards clean energy sources has increased slightly in the recent period.
Meanwhile, Gökhan Ersoy, manager of the Climate and Energy Project at Greenpeace Mediterranean, underlined that air pollution has been increasing for the last two years, and it was very effective, especially during the pandemic.
“The drop in immunity during the pandemic has led to an increase in lung and respiratory diseases. It has also been clearly seen how air pollution increases the risks of COVID-19 and similar diseases,” Ersoy noted, adding that the number of premature deaths associated with air pollution in recent years was about six times higher than the number of people who lost their lives in traffic accidents.