Commuters walk on the road amid smoky and smoky conditions early morning in Lahore on January 3, 2023.
Arif Ali | AFP | Getty Images
Nearly 90% of the global population will experience unhealthy air quality in 2022, and only six countries will meet the World Health Organization’s recommendations for safe air pollutant levels, according to a new report by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company.
IQAir measures air quality levels based on the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM 2.5. Research shows that the risk particulate matter Heart attack, asthma attack and premature death may occur. Studies have also linked long-term exposure to PM 2.5 high death rate From Covid-19.
When the WHO first published air quality guidance in 2005, it stated that acceptable levels of air pollution were less than 10 micrograms per cubic metre. In 2021, the WHO lowered its benchmark guidelines to below 5 micrograms per cubic metre.
The report found that the top five most polluted countries in 2022 were Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain and Bangladesh. The most polluted cities globally were Lahore, Pakistan; Hotan, China; Bhiwadi, India; Delhi, India; and Peshawar, Pakistan.
Lahore’s air quality is set to deteriorate from 97.4 micrograms of PM 2.5 particles per cubic meter in 2022 to 86.5 in the year before, making it the most polluted city in the world.
The report also said that India and Pakistan face the worst air quality in the Central and South Asian region, with more than half the population living in areas where concentrations of PM 2.5 particles are about seven times the WHO recommended levels. times more.
In the US, the most polluted major cities were Columbus, Ohio, followed by Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis and Dallas. In 2020, air quality in Columbus reached 13.1 micrograms of PM 2.5 particles per cubic meter, making it the most polluted major city in the US.
The Biden administration proposed this year to limit pollution of industrial fine soot particles to levels between 9 and 10 micrograms per cubic meter from the current annual level of 12 micrograms per cubic meter. Some public health advocates criticized the proposal as not going far enough.
The report said only six countries met the WHO’s updated health thresholds: Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland and New Zealand. The 2022 report used air quality data from more than 30,000 regulatory air quality monitoring stations and air quality sensors from 7,323 cities in 131 countries, regions and territories.
Air pollution takes more than two years off the average global life expectancy, According to Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. Sixty percent particulate matter air pollution comes from the combustion of fossil fuels,
“Many people around the world don’t know they are breathing polluted air,” Aidan Farrow, senior air quality scientist at Greenpeace International, said in a statement.
Farrow said, “Air pollution monitors provide hard data that can motivate communities to demand change and hold polluters to account, but when monitoring is poor or inequitable, communities are vulnerable to action.” No data can be discarded.”