At a time when Indian capital is choking with air pollutants, Pathanamthitta in Kerala has been named as the second least polluted town in India. The latest study of Word Health Organisation (WHO) on ambient air quality has found that Pathanamthitta,  a country-side town located in laps of Western Ghats, comes next to Tezpur in Assam which stands first.  

The WHO conducted the study and prepared the database based on the concentration of particulate matter in the air. The particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) and 10 microns (PM10) was considered for the study. 

Diwali celebrations pushed Delhi to a dangerous level as the PM 2.5 level breached the safe standard by over 14 times while PM10 level breached safe standard by over 17 times. The WHO study states that on the same day, the PM 2.5 and Pm 10 level in Pathanamthitta was below the standard level. 

Prolonged exposure to PM 2.5 and PM 10 beyond safe level are likely to cause several respiratory issues as the ultra fine particles will penetrate deep way into the lungs and enter the bloodstream. 

Pathanamthitta also leads in air quality index which assesses the quality of air. While the air quality index of Delhi was marked at 497 on Diwali day index level of Pathanamthitta was only 27. The dangerous level of Air Quality Index is 500. 

The presence of three rivers and forest cover helps the town to keep its air clean. The town also does not have any large factories, district environmental engineer Alexander George said.