Data released on Tuesday showed that Pakistan will remain among the world’s three most smoggy countries in 2023, with particulate matter concentrations about 15 times higher than World Health Organization recommended levels, as Bangladesh and India overtook Chad and Iran.

In 2023, the average concentration of PM2.5 (tiny air particles that damage the lungs) reached 79.9 micrograms per cubic meter in Bangladesh and 73.7 micrograms per cubic meter in Pakistan.

The World Health Organization recommends an intake of no more than 5 micrograms.

“Because of climate conditions and geography (South Asia), PM2.5 concentrations will continue to spike because the pollution has nowhere to go,” said Christi Chester Schroeder, air quality science manager at IQAir Switzerland. Air Monitoring Organization.

“The most important are factors such as agricultural practices, industry and population density,” she added. “Unfortunately, it does look like things are going to get worse before they get better.”

In 2022, Bangladesh ranked fifth and India ranked eighth for air quality. Md Firoz Khan, an air pollution expert at North South University in Dhaka, said that about 20% of premature deaths in Bangladesh are attributed to air pollution, and related medical expenses account for 4%-5% of the country’s GDP.

India also saw an increase in pollution last year, with PM2.5 levels about 11 times higher than World Health Organization standards. New Delhi, India, was the worst performing capital city at 92.7 micrograms.
China’s PM2.5 also rose 6.3% to 32.5 micrograms last year after falling for five consecutive years.

In 2023, only Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius and New Zealand met WHO standards.

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The IQAir report is based on data from more than 30,000 monitoring stations in 134 countries and regions.

Chad was the world’s most polluted country in 2022, but was excluded from the 2023 list due to data issues. Iran and Sudan were also removed from the 2023 list.

Krista Hasenkopf, director of the Air Quality Life Index at the University of Chicago Energy Policy Institute, said 39% of countries have no public air quality monitoring.

She said: “Given the large potential benefits and relatively low costs, it is alarming that there is no organized global effort to deploy resources to close these data gaps, particularly on the health burden of air pollution. The biggest place.”

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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