Mumbai In a recently published paper by the World Bank Group, Maharashtra has ranked third in the list of most populated sub-national regions globally, with 97.6% of its population exposed to either hazardous or unsafe levels of air pollution, specifically PM2.5 aerosols.

The paper — ‘Air Pollution and Poverty: PM2.5 Exposure in 211 Countries and Territories’, used remote sensing data for aerosol concentration, population numbers from the WorldPop Global High Resolution Population data set (WPGP) and a chemical transport model to ascertain the movement of PM2.5 pollutants.

These results were not surprising to experts, who pointed out that Maharashtra, given its size and economy, has for long been one of the worst-affected states due to air pollution.