ISLAMABAD: The 2018 World Air Quality Report presents PM2.5 air quality data presenting the city ranking shows Asian countries dominating the highest 100 average PM2.5 levels during 2018.
Pakistan had been placed at the second rank with most polluted cities across the world and particularly in South Asia.
The report included latest data compiled in the IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report which listed the world’s most polluted cities ranking, prepared in collaboration with Greenpeace Southeast Asia and depicted the state of particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution in 2018.
“The most polluted cities’ ranking showed that South Asian countries were dominating the top list of most polluted cities namely with cities in India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh occupying the top 50 cities. Numerous cities within the Middle East region also rank highly, with Kuwait City, Dubai and Manama all exceeding the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline by over 500 percent,” said the report.
At the country level, Bangladesh emerged as the most polluted country on average, closely followed by Pakistan and India, with Middle Eastern countries, Afghanistan and Mongolia also within the top 10.
The data compiled in the report was aggregated through the IQAir AirVisual platform in 2018. The data included was a subset of information provided through the platform, including only PM2.5 measured from ground-based stations with high data availability.
“Awareness of air pollution remains low in areas where real-time monitoring is limited but pollution levels may be high,” the report said.
However, the report findings mentioned that real-time, public air quality information was essential not only to empower populations to respond to current conditions and protect human health, but also was a cornerstone in generating public awareness and driving action to combat air pollution in the long-term. “More monitoring is needed in large parts of the world without access to this information,” it added.