NEW DELHI: Pakistan's second-largest city Lahore has been rated as the most polluted whereas India is home to 14 of the 20 worst cities in a global air quality survey.

The five most polluted countries in 2022 were Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain and Bangladesh, while the cleanest countries, as per the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, were Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland and New Zealand.

Only 13 of the 131 countries and territories surveyed by Swiss company IQAir had healthy air last year.

“Lahore is the most polluted metropolitan area of 2022,“ revealed the report on Tuesday.

The WHO considers fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, concentration level of 5 micrograms per cubic metre or less as safe.

Lahore's air had 97.4 micrograms of PM2.5 particles per cubic metre.

The second most polluted city was Hotan in China, followed by Bhiwadi and Delhi in India at third and fourth places.

India overall was the eighth most polluted country in 2022 and home to 14 of the world's 20 worst cities in air quality.

“Air pollution continues to be the world’s largest environmental health threat. Worldwide, poor air quality accounts for 93 billion days lived with illness and over six million deaths each year,“ the report said.

It estimated the total economic cost of air pollution at US$8 trillion dollars, or 6.1 per cent of the global annual GDP. -Bernama