KARACHI (Sarfraz Ali) – According to a recent list issued by the World Health Organization, Karachi is slated at number 5 whilst Peshawar is at number 6 and Rawalpindi at 7, in the top 20 most polluted cities in the world.
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The report ranked almost 1600 cities in 91 countries for the quality of their air, which is measured for concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5, i.e. particles smaller than 10 or 2.5 microns. These harmful pollutants cling to the lungs and can cause disease.
India’s capital Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. With India having precisely 13 cities in the list of Top 20 cities of the world, Pakistan has its fair share of its cities in the list.
In Delhi, the annual average is 153 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre of air), which is six times the WHO’s recommended maximum. At various times of the year, this number spikes to much higher levels.