Dhaka - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

This is by far the hardest part about living here. It will affect every aspect of your life. You will need to change your behavior. You read other posts from other countries and see everyone whines about their air pollution, but when you google the numbers it'll be 4 times better there than here. Those people don't know what bad air pollution is. Often the worst in the world here, but if not, it's top 5 on the planet. It is truly bad and dangerous and worthy of complaint. On the AQI scale of 0-500 it will reach 500 in the winter. You read a post from Vietnam and they write that their air quality is bad in the winter and you Google it and it was only 150 there. If an AQI of 150 harms you and compels you to write on the internet about it then do not set foot here. If you have ever lived in a country and thought the air is bad there then just do not come here. Often when the plane is landing you can't even see the runway. - Jul 2023

Bad air in the winter. Very bad. Use the air filters. Wear N95 masks. - Dec 2021

The air quality is AWFUL from Nov-April. However, it can be managed with purifiers and sealing some windows if needed. This should be your number one concern if you come to Dhaka, - Sep 2021

In the Winter, Dhaka's air quality is among the worst in the world. Go back to the last sentence and read it again. Read it several more times. I'm not messing around here. - Jun 2019

Horrible. It has a huge impact on health and is really detrimental to morale and ability to go outside especially during the winter months. Most of the time the AQI hovers around 100-150+ but it goes above 500-600 regularly in January and February. - Jul 2018

Air quality is abysmal, ranging from "unhealthy" to "hazardous" throughout the year. During the winter months, the air is heavily laden with dust and fine particulates. Most staff develop chronic coughs or bronchitis during this time. Anyone who has ever experienced asthma will most definitely suffer a relapse while in Dhaka. Air quality absolutely impacts health, and certainly not in a good way. - Apr 2017

The Embassy recently installed an air-quality monitor, which has confirmed that the air quality here is terrible. Large particulate pollution in the winter, in particular, causes breathing issues. Don't come here if you have asthma. - Jun 2016

Not good, especially from December to March - May 2016

Very unhealthy and downright toxic during the winter months (November - March). - Jun 2015

During the rainy season it's better, otherwise in the dry season you can see air pollution particles. - Mar 2015

Horrible. When you come in from the plane, you can see a giant haze around the city. There's a lot of smog and people burn trash outside especially in "winter." The air stinks like a garbage can or toilet. - Sep 2014

Air quality is atrocious. - Aug 2014

Air quality is some of the worst in the world - estimated to be worse than Delhi or Beijing; gastrointestinal illness is extremely common; water quality is terrible including presence of arsenic; much of the local produce and meat are laden with formalin and hard metals (expats spend a fortune buying imported); stray dogs all over the streets; locals tend to be lazy; huge (disturbing) beggar population which mutilates their own children as it is a generational family "business" and the disfiguration "helps" them "earn" more money; nothing to do in town. - Jul 2014

Very unhealthy. It's polluted and/or dusty 365 days a year. The monsoon temporarily clears the air. Lots of people have respiratory problems, and it's tough to exercise outside. The embassy provides air filters for residences, and cleaning the A/C filters biweekly/monthly keeps out a lot of gunk. - Aug 2013

Very unhealthy. I keep two air filters running in my bedroom at all times and still suffer from allergies. Bring extra eye drops and allergy meds (they are inexpensive on the local market). - Apr 2013

Poor air quality pretty much year 'round, trash burning, and open sewers. The dry season is especially hard, often seeing black stuff in tissues, even when not leaving the house for days. - Aug 2011

Air quality has to be one of the worst (if not the worst) places I have seen. My run times are cut down by about a minute and a half compared to places in the states. - Jun 2011

Air quality is horrific. Walking for ten minutes makes your lungs feel like you've smoked a pack of cigarettes. A thick, oily black dust descends on the city in the dry season, covering everything, and giving people frequent bronchial infections which it's difficult to shake off. - Feb 2011

Good to moderate depending on the part of the city. Baridhara is good, but outside can be bad. - Jan 2011

Very unhealthy even if there has been a successful move to compressed natural gas for most public transport vehicles. Our 4 young children all suffered from upper respiratory illnesses requiring anti-biotics multiple times during our first year. - Jan 2011

Very unhealthy. The air often smelled of feces and other foul things. The water supply is also very unsafe. As a result, I had skin and eye difficulties while living in Dhaka. - Oct 2010

The air in Bangladesh is polluted (as it is in many developing countries) and you do see a lot of trash being burned. Overall, it is as one would expect. - Apr 2010


Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More