Lahore Becomes the Worst in the World for Air Quality

Lahore has become the worst city in the world according to the latest AQI (Air Quality Index) rankings. The PM2.5 concentration in Lahore is currently 83.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value.

Related: Pakistan Ranked 3rd Most Polluted Country in World Air Quality Report

Lahore which has a hopeless AQI level of 445 is the only city with AQI levels marked as “hazardous”. It is followed by Delhi and Kolkata of India and Dhaka of Bangladesh with AQI levels of 262, 233, and 228 respectively— all under the “very unhealthy” zone.

Screenshot 2023 11 23 at 11 01 29 World Air Quality Index (AQI) Ranking IQAir

Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan both in terms of population & area, is also on the list of the top 10 worst cities in the world in terms of air quality, but its AQI levels stand at 185 in the “unhealthy” zone.

smog lhr

According to the IQ Air report, air pollution in Lahore is caused by a combination of vehicle and industrial emissions, smoke from brick kilns, the burning of crop residue and general waste, and dust from construction sites. Other factors of air pollution include large-scale losses of trees to build new roads and buildings. Plus the air quality in Lahore usually worsens during the winter season due to temperature inversion, which means pollutants remain trapped in the air for longer.

Related: Blame Where the Blame is Due

It is pertinent to mention that in 2018, Lahore ranked 10th in IQAir AirVisual’s 2018 World Air Quality Report. This means the situation has worsened during the last few years as the city has now become the worst in terms of air quality. Overall, Pakistan’s air pollution caused the country to be ranked as the second most polluted in the world with an annual PM2.5 average of 74.3 µg/m³.

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