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Quetta, Pakistan in the running for world's most polluted city

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 8:03 PM -

Earlier this month the city of Paris, France made headlines after air pollution turned the skies a murky yellow  -- prompting officials to issue traffic bans and offer free public transportation.

Now, attention is turning to the southeastern city of Quetta, Pakistan, which is in the running for the dubious title of most polluted city.

A recent report by the World Health Organization lists it as the fourth-most polluted city in the world. According to the organization, three Pakistani cities -- Quetta, Peshawar, and Lahore -- are among the 10 most-polluted cities on the planet.


RELATED: Thousands fined as Parisian drivers defy traffic ban 


Researchers at W.H.O. say the more people are exposed to damaging air particulates, the higher their risk of developing lung and bladder cancers.

The World Health Organization recommends a maximum daily level of 20 micrograms, while Quetta sees an annual average of 251 micrograms of particulates in the atmosphere.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, levels higher than 300 micrograms per cubic meter are considered "hazardous."

A failure to properly manage Quetta's growth has caused an increase in air pollution. The city also suffers from poor sewage and garbage-collection systems. 

Industrial plant fined for $12.5 million for Clean Air Act violations; manager faces up to 75 years in prison
To combat pollution, France and Belgium offer free public transportation
World Health Organization declares air pollution a carcinogen

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