World’s Most Polluted City: Lahore Secures the Lead


by Hamna Bano

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Lahore has been declared the most polluted city in the world. The air quality index was standing at 372 on Monday which is extremely high. Lahore has crossed the world’s most polluted city of Zagreb in Croatia which stood on AQI of 174.


The higher the value of AQI, the higher are the chances of lung infections and deaths. AQI is considered normal when it touches 50 or less. A UNICEF report said, “the health of around 12 million children is at risk, as they’re exposed to air pollution that is six times the safe limit.” One in every 10 people under the age of 5 is seen dead due to air pollution.

Global Alliance on Health and Pollution said that “an estimated 128000 Pakistanis are dying annually from the air pollution illnesses.” Muhammad Irfan Khan from Islamabad International Islamic University remarks that the main culprit is the fine dust particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers which are not even close to one-third of human hair.

These tiny particles enter the lungs easily and then destroy the systemic circulation and become the cause of heart, breathing, and lung diseases. The minor dust particles are generated by the smoke released by factories, vehicles, and kilns.

Some specialists blame the utilization of low-quality fuel for triggering air pollution. According to the report released by the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization in 2019, “Pakistan still has a huge number of people who use sulfur-laden gas that adds to the pollution present in the air.”

25% of the carbon is emitted by transportation alone. Building constructions and poor management of urban plans and degradation are also one of the major factors behind Lahore being the most polluted city.

The industrial policies of Pakistan also add to air pollution greatly. Several tries of installing the latest technology in the factories have failed. The farmers also don’t refrain from burning the old fields to grow new crops. The government ensures to handle air pollution as soon as it can, however, people complain and say that the government is in the LBDN (look busy do nothing) mode.