As a by-product of our fossil fuel heavy civilisation, air pollution is common throughout the world. Air pollution can cause sickness, such as nausea and headaches, and can be particularly hard on people with respiratory problems. In some places, pollution and smog can be so severe that they cause flight cancellations, with some countries listed on a warning site as dangerous to travellers.
Some of the cities most affected by air pollution are actually high on many people’s travel wish list, so if you have respiratory problems or are prone to the nasty side effects of air pollution, you may want to steer clear of these five bucket-list cities.
Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, which attracts thousands of tourists every day, but it’s also the site of some of the world’s worst air pollution. So much so that it cuts visibility to the point where you can only see an outline of the giant tomb. Agra is not alone in the Indian pollution stakes: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Jodhpur are also known to have some of the worst air quality in the world.
2. Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand is a popular budget holiday destination for Australians. No wonder, with its dazzling array of inspiring natural and religious sites, as well as its fascinating cultural attractions. But Thailand also has heavy air pollution, especially in the major cities, such as Bangkok, which can hit such high levels that residents are often warned to stay inside.
3. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Known as the Europe of South America, the air in Buenos Aires is so thick with smog caused by diesel-burning cars that it’s ranked worse than LA for air quality, according to data from the World Health Organization.
4. Los Angeles, California
LA is famous for its sunsets, which are the by-product of smog and air pollution. Los Angeles is the worst place in the United States for ozone pollution, according to the American Lung Association. California is also home to many other cities ranked poorly for air quality, with an air quality index often rated over 100, which is considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’.
5. Paris, France
Paris is big on going green, to the point where the country has banned all old-model cars and is placing restrictions on car emissions that contribute to its poor air quality. The French capital makes public transport free on high-smog days to encourage locals to leave the car at home. Currently, legislators are lobbying to make public transport free all year round just to improve the air quality in the city, which can sometimes be so bad that the peak of the Eiffel Tower is no longer visible.
Check out the world pollution map for more cities affected by bad air quality.
Read more at www.smartertravel.com
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