LatestAir Pollution Crisis in Pak, India and Bangladesh: WHO Limits Exceeded

Air Pollution Crisis in Pak, India and Bangladesh: WHO Limits Exceeded

Pakistan remained one of the world’s three smoggiest countries in 2023, as Bangladesh and India replaced Chad and Iran, with particulate matter about 15 times the level recommended by the World Health Organisation, data published on Tuesday showed.

Average concentrations of PM2.5 — small airborne particles that damage the lungs — reached 79.9 micrograms per cubic metre in Bangladesh in 2023, and 73.7 micrograms in Pakistan.

The WHO recommends no more than 5 micrograms.

“Because of the climate conditions and the geography (in South Asia), you get this streak of PM2.5 concentrations that just skyrocket because the pollution has nowhere to go,” said Christi Chester Schroeder, air quality science manager at IQAir, a Swiss air monitoring organisation.

“There are other factors like population density, industry, and farming methods on top of that,” she continued. “Sadly, it appears that things will worsen before they get better.”

In China, PM2.5 increased by 6.3% to 32.5 micrograms in the previous year, following five years of decreases.

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

Based on information from over 30,000 monitoring stations spread throughout 134 nations and regions, the IQAir report was produced.

Due to data problems, Chad, the most polluted nation in the world in 2022, left off of the 2023 listings. Sudan and Iran also removed from the list for 2023.

According to Christa Hasenkopf, director of the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute’s Air Quality Life Index, 39% of nations lack public air quality monitoring.

“Astonishingly, we don’t have an organized global effort to deploy resources to fill these data gaps, particularly in the places where the health impact of air pollution has been largest,” the speaker added, pointing out the significant potential advantages and relatively cheap cost.

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