Today, Pakistan was became the second most polluted country in the world in terms of pollution density of areas with the most horrific airborne pollutants according the world air quality by Swiss firm IQ Air.

The report was backed by United States-based non-profit Greenpeace, also contended that at least 90 per cent of the 200 cities grappling with high levels of air pollutants in 2019 were located in South Asia, with China and India topping the list, followed by Bangladesh and Pakistan. 

According to the Swiss firm, the 2019 World Air Quality Index was calculated using data gathered from real-time monitoring of air-quality by thousands of initiatives run by governments, communities, non-profits, and citizens in hundreds of cities around the world.  

The index aggregated, validated and visualized real-time air-quality data of cities and assigned an average air quality score for every month to each city on the index. Based on these averages, an average score of each city for the year 2019 was calculated as well.

The score, based on the air concentrations of fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) or less in diameter, was also categorized keeping in view the World Health Organization standards on air quality. So the scores of each city were ranked on a non-number scale too. 

This non-number scale ranked cities falling within WHO standards in terms of air quality to those having hazardous amounts of air pollutants. A PM 2.5 score of 0-12 was categorized as good, while a score of 250+ was listed as hazardous. A score of 55-100 was listed as unhealthy. 

One in every four people across the world call South Asia home. The region presently has a population of close to two billion, figures by the World Bank reveal. As the region tackles joblessness and poverty with rapid urbanization, environmental issues have taken a back seat.

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