Which country has the worst air pollution?
Too dangerous to even breathe in Pakistan. AFP
THERE are some countries in the world where the air is so polluted you can forget about coming home with a healthy holiday glow.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released its 2014 report into global air pollution with some concerning finds.
The database looked at the air pollution levels of 1600 cities across 19 countries by using a reading called PM2.5 and PM10. PM2.5 is considered the best indicator of assessing health impacts from air pollution and examines the concentration of fine particulate pollution of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (PM2.5).
Thes particles might be smoke, dirt, mould or pollen and their fine size poses the biggest risks to human health as they can be inhaled and accumulated in the respiratory system. WHO says there is no safe level of PM2.5.
Air pollution causes 7 million deaths
91% Pakistanis have access to drinking water: Unicef/WHO
Pakistan 65th most vulnerable country to face climate change
High temp, low air pressure, high humidity, absent wind behind heatwave deaths
Karachi #7 megacity by 2030: UN
Here are the 10 most polluted countries in the world.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 101 ug/m3
With a population of almost 180 million urban air pollution in Pakistan causes thousands of adult deaths each year.
A World Bank report found that outdoor air pollution alone causes more than 80,000 hospital admissions per year; nearly 8,000 cases of chronic bronchitis, and almost five million cases of lower respiratory cases in children under the age of five.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 92 ug/m3
With a population of 2 million people and growing, Qatar also faces increased pollution from its high rate of construction and busy air traffic making it the second most polluted country in the world.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 84 ug/m3
The Afghanistan government estimates that air pollution is responsible for 3000 deaths every year in the capital Kabul.
With a population of almost 30 million, Afghanistan suffers from traffic congestion, dust and the geographical limitations of a mountainous city.
The city’s swelling size has led to illegal homes powered by diesel generators or for those who can’t afford electricity, they burn tires and plastic bags for fuel.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 79 ug/m3
Home to nearly 155 million people, the air quality has fallen nearly 60 per cent in the last 10 years. In fact three Bangladeshi cities are in the top 25 cities with the poorest air quality.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 76 ug/m3
With a population of more than 76 million, four cities in Iran make the top 10 list of most polluted cities in the world. A combination of poor political decisions, substandard gasoline and traffic congestion means that its residents inhale a deadly mix of rubber particles, asbestos, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide.
News Corp Australia
Average PM2.5 pollution: 74 ug/m3
The average resident of Cairo breathes in more than 20 times the acceptable level of air pollution every day according to WHO. The growing number of cars, factories and power plants, and the use of old heating methods such as burning coal and wood are considered to be the main man-made sources of air pollution.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 64 ug/m3
It’s population may only be 2.7 million but Mongolia’s long, cold winters that can drop to minus 40 degrees Celsius means that many Mongolians burn coal for cooking and heating creating a huge air pollution problem. Its capital Ulaanbaatar is one of the most polluted cities in the world.
8. United Arab Emirates
Average PM2.5 pollution: 61 ug/m3
It may be one of the richest regions in the world, but it has made its fortune from the oil and gas industries that are notoriously filthy. With a population of more than 9 million, Dubai launched an annual “car free day” in 2010 to try and tackle its problems with congestion and pollution.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 59 ug/m3
In the winter of 2013, air pollution in New Delhi was 60 times higher than the level considered safe according to India’s Center for Science and Environment (CSE) and it had the highest rate of air pollution in the world according to WHO.
Pollution from construction sites, industrial emissions, open fires, vehicle emissions and a staggering population of 1.2 billion put India at number nine on the list.
Average PM2.5 pollution: 57 ug/m3
Air pollution is not entirely relegated to the world’s developing nations. The high income country of Bahrain may only have a population of 1.3 million but it scraped in at number 10 on the list due to its high levels of pollution from energy production, dust, smoke and industrial emissions.
See also: Everything else we reported on Pakistan and its future (links below)
A miracle: Pakistan score in Long Term Orientation goes from Zero to 50
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor enters stage of implementation: Xi Jinping
$46B China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: 15 years, 4 phases, 3 routes, 51 projects
Bloomberg on Pakistan’s economic revival, construction boom
Next year, Pakistan may upgrade to emerging-market status: WSJ
You can now import planes & spares tax-free
Naya Pakistan: Travel from Pindi to Islamabad in 20¢ in wifi-ed AC bus
Rs 165B Orange Line Metro Train approved for Lahore
Green Line train from Islamabad to Karachi with free wifi
Rs15B Green Line metro bus project for Karachi announced
No ordinary day as international cricket returns to Pakistan
Pakistan is the world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy: The Economist
Pakistan is enjoying a rare period of optimism: The Economist
Good! Pakistan no more among the most corrupt in the world
Pakistan 15th most powerful military in the world
Good news: Terrorist attacks decreased in Pakistan in 2014
Pakistan world’s least expensive country: WB
As S Asia ups economic game, Pakistan risks falling behind: WSJ. The question is why?
Pakistani passport ranks at 71, with 46 visa-free countries
Pakistan at rock bottom in Human Capital Index 2015
Number of nuclear warheads down worldwide, up in S Asia
Pakistan ranks poorly on Global Innovation Index 2014
In Pakistan, electricity shortages & crime are two biggest problems
Sorry state of medical practice in Pakistan
Also see some other indices:
Pakistan world’s 43rd largest economy by GDP: World Bank
From 3rd worst to 5th: Pakistan ranking in terror deaths improves
Pakistan is world’s 9th least peaceful country: 2014 GPI
Pakistan 10th most fragile country
Pakistan 3rd least safe country in Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15
Pakistan #106 in Good Country Index
Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series
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