According to a report on world air quality released by Swiss firm IQ Air, in terms of population density of areas with high concentrations of dangerous airborne pollutants, Pakistan is ranked the second most polluted country in the world.
This report has United States-based non-profit Greenpeace’s backing. Also, the report revealed that at least 90% of the 200 cities having a high level of air pollutants in 2019 were located in South Asia. China and India were right at the top with Bangladesh and Pakistan following suit.
The report claimed that most of the cities with a higher percentage of airborne pollutants in Pakistan were located in Punjab. Major cities including Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Raiwind, Lahore, Muridke, and Sialkot featured on the 2019 World Air Quality Index that was part of the report.
Data gathered from real-time monitoring of air-quality by thousands of initiatives run by governments, communities, non-profits, and citizens in hundreds of cities globally were used to calculate the2019 World Air Quality Index, as per the Swiss firm.
Real-time-air-quality data of cities was validated and visualized and then an average air quality score was assigned to each city for every month on the index. An average score of each city was also calculated based on these averages.
Based on the air concentrations of fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) or less in diameter, the score was categorized. The World Health Organization standards on air quality were kept under consideration. The scores of each city were ranked on a non-number scale.
IQ Air CEO Frank Hammes said, “Air pollution is the world’s leading environmental health threat. Ninety percent of the global population is breathing unsafe air.”