Pakistan, world’s second most polluted country: report
Pakistan is the world’s second most polluted country, as per a new report by the global air quality data platform.
Bangladesh is the most polluted country while India is on the third number among the 106 countries monitored.
As recorded last year, the PM2.5 concentration in Pakistan was five times greater than the World Health Organisation’s recommendation. PM2.5 is particulate matter (PM) which is smaller than 2.5 micrometers. The presence of these tiny particles in the air results in lung and heart diseases and cancer. PM consists of dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets.
The WHO goal is 10µg/m³ whereas Pakistan’s current measurement is 59, which exists in the unhealthy category.
According to the World Air Quality Report 2020, “Pakistan has shown numbers that remain poor in the past, as many of its cities are responsible for creating massive amounts of smoke, haze and deadly smog that pervades the air”.
The cleanest city of Pakistan is Islamabad with an AQI of 110. On the other hand, the most polluted city is Lahore having an AQI of 163, also the world’s 18th most polluted city.
The main sources of Pollution in the country are Vehicle emissions and road dust, Domestic biomass burning, garbage burning, agricultural burning, and industrial activities.
According to the WHO, air pollution is responsible for killing almost seven million people worldwide every year. Also, more than 20% of deaths in Pakistan can be related to the harmful effects of air pollution exposure, IQAir (air quality technology company in Switzerland) says.