14 March 2023
Pakistan's second-largest city, Lahore, has been named the city with the most polluted air in the world in 2022.
IQAir, a Swiss company that makes air purifiers, puts out a yearly world air quality report. The report is recognized by researchers and government agencies around the world.
IQAir measures air pollution based on the presence of airborne particles that damage the lungs. The particles are called PM2.5. The measurements for IQAir's report come from 30,000 air quality monitors in 131 countries around the world.
In 2022, Lahore had 97.4 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter. That is up from 86.5 in 2021. The Chinese city of Hotan was second, with 94.3 micrograms.
Two cities in India came next on the list: Bhiwadi, which is outside of Dehli, and Dehli itself. Those cities both measured at over 92 micrograms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said cities should have a maximum measurement of just 5 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter. That means the most polluted cities on IQAir's list have 18 to 20 times more than the acceptable level.
IQAir also said the African nation of Chad was the world's most polluted country in 2022. The average measurement in Chad was 89.7. Iraq was second at 80.1. Pakistan was third and Bahrain was fourth.
In 2021, the most-polluted nation was Bangladesh. It moved down to fifth in 2022.
India and Pakistan had the worst air quality among countries in Central and South Asia. Sixty percent of people living in Central and South Asia live in areas with extremely poor air quality, the report said.
The IQAir report also noted that 10 percent of the world's people live in a place where air quality threatens their health.
The U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean had cleaner air than any country, IQAir said. For a capital city, Canberra, Australia ranked as having the cleanest air.
I'm Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on a report by Reuters.
Words in This Story
survey –n. an act of studying something in order to make a judgment about it