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India 8th in worst air quality, Lahore most polluted city on earth

Most polluted city on earth; In 2022, air pollution reached alarming levels and it was estimated that 99% of the world's population

By Ground Report
New Update
India 8th in worst air quality, Lahore most polluted city on earth

In 2022, air pollution reached alarming levels and it was estimated that 99% of the world's population breathes polluted air. Now, a report by IQAir, a company that tracks air quality around the world, revealed that only 13 countries had "healthy" air quality

The report also warned that the average annual air pollution in about 90% of the countries that were analyzed exceeded the air quality guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), which were updated in 2021 and in which it reduced the acceptable amount of fine particles (PM2. 5) from 10 to 5 micrograms per cubic meter. 

According to this entity, it is estimated that each year exposure to air pollution causes seven million premature deaths.

For this study, the company analyzed air quality in 131 countries and territories. He specifically studied PM2. 5, which are the smallest, but the most dangerous, since when inhaled it can penetrate the lung tissue.

These particles come from burning fossil fuels, dust storms, and forest fires. According to the WHO, they have been linked to various respiratory diseases, mainly diseases such as asthma or heart disease (a type of disease that affects the heart or blood vessels).

The results of the report showed that only six countries (Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland and New Zealand) and seven Pacific and Caribbean territories, including Guam and Puerto Rico, met the WHO air quality guidelines.

As for the countries that did not meet the WHO guidelines and had poor air quality, they included Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kuwait, and India. "They have an average air pollution of more than 50 micrograms per cubic meter," the report says.

India’s air seven times worse than WHO levels

Despite having some of the most polluted cities in the world, India was ranked eighth in the latest report with PM2.5 levels of 53.3.

According to a recent report, India and Pakistan have the worst air quality in the Central and South Asian regions.

In these areas, almost 60 percent of the population lives in locations where PM2.5 particle concentration is at least seven times higher than the levels recommended by WHO. Although India has some of the most polluted cities in the world, it ranked eighth in the report with a PM2.5 level of 53.3.

The report also states that approximately one in ten people worldwide live in areas where air pollution poses a threat to their health. WHO estimates that ambient air pollution causes the premature death of seven million people annually.

The IQAir index used data from over 30,000 air quality monitors in more than 7,300 locations across 131 countries, territories, and regions.

Here's the list of most polluted cities in Central and South Asia

Rank City PM2.5 level
1 Lahore, Pakistan 97.4
2 Bhiwadi, India 92.7
3 Delhi, India 92.6
4 Peshawar, Pakistan 91.8
5 Darbhanga, India 90.3
6 Asopur, India 90.2
7 Patna, India 88.9
8 Ghaziabad, India 88.6
9 Dharuhera, India 87.8
10 Chapra, India 85.9
11 Muzaffarnagar, India 85.5
12 Faisalabad, Pakistan 84.5
13 Greater Noida, India 83.2
14 Bahadurgarh, India 82.2
15 Faridabad, India 79.7

Here's the list of least polluted cities in Central and South Asia

Rank City PM2.5 level
1 Tarakeswar, India 0.9
2 Digboi, India 1.4
3 Chu, Kazakhstan 1.5
4 Petropavl, Kazakhstan 2.4
5 Shchuchinsk, Kazakhstan 2.6
6 Aladu, India 2.7
7 Kattupalli, India 2.8
8 Zhezqazghan, Kazakhstan 3.0
9 Aqtobe, Kazakhstan 4.2
10 Beyneu, Kazakhstan 5.7
11 Kyzyl-Orda, Kazakhstan 7.8
12 Polampalle, India 8.3
13 Aktau, Kazakhstan 9.7
14 Kharsawan, India 9.8
15 Muttayyapuram, India 10.6

Top 10 most polluted countries in world

Rank 10 most polluted countries in the world
1 Chad
2 Iraq
3 Pakistan
4 Bahrain
5 Bangladesh
6  Burkina Faso
7 Kuwait
8 India
9 Egypt
10 Tajikistan

Countries which meet WHO PM2.5 guideline

New Zealand 

Forest fires, burning of fossil fuels main source of poll

The company in the document insists on persistent inequality, in this case reflected in the lack of control stations in developing countries in Africa, South America and the Middle East. 

“This situation translates into a scarcity of data on air quality in those regions,” he says. Only 19 of the 54 African countries had sufficient data from their monitoring stations.

Glory Dolphin Hammes, CEO of IQAir North America, in an interview with CNN explains that if you look at the data that is called satellite data or modelling, "it is assumed that Africa is probably the most polluted continent on the planet, but we do not have enough information”.

This situation, he adds, “means that much more data is needed before we can really determine which are the most polluted countries and cities in the world. One of the biggest obstacles right now is the way governments control air quality.”

According to the document, worldwide the main sources of air pollution in 2022 were forest fires and the burning of fossil fuels for transport and energy production.

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