Air pollution in Pakistan is causing harm to children’s brains

Life expectancy in Punjab has reduced by 5 years due to quality of air.

Our poisonous air is harming our children’s brains


Almost 700,000 children under five die each year as a result of air pollution, as World Health Organization reports. But this is not the only implication of poisonous air. Millions of people across the world are also impacted by it – mentally and physically.

In the first world countries, more than half of children under five are exposed to levels of air pollution that are determined above WHO safe limits. However, in the developing world, the picture is opposite as the figure rises to a shocking 98%.


Despite the desperation of the situation, we fail to see any awareness drives or precautionary measures in Pakistan particularly. Speaking to a conference organized by WWF-Pakistan, environment expert Dr Imtiaz suggested some measures for citizens to fight the challenge.

”I would advise people to put on masks to avoid directly inhaling the air through their mouths, to avoid exercising out in the open, and to stay hydrated at all times.” – he said. 

The fact that pollution is getting heavier, stronger and intense every day is something not many people are unfamiliar with. Air pollution, in specific, has implications far more than we can imagine. An average of 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to poisonous air, as per WHO.


Air Pollution – a public health emergency in Pakistan 

While many other countries have gotten a hold of this problem and have managed to suppress it, it still remains a big concern in Pakistan. Here are some things you need to know about air pollution and its impact.

Smog can prove to be fatal for health. Smog is a mixture of smoke and fog. It composes of tiny harmful particles like Ozone, Nitrogen Oxide, Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur oxide and a number of other substances that can pose a serious threat to your well-being.


Children are more at risk:

Children, elder people and pregnant women are all the most vulnerable age groups that smog can attack. Children are small, delicate and don’t have fully developed lungs so inhaling such harmful substances can really expose them to deadly diseases for long-term, the elderly are not able to recover due to their age and pregnant women have weaker immune systems. Smog also impacts adults, according to reports 200,000 premature deaths occur every year due to this.

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Another one of its harms is the impact it has on children, the air is getting more and more deadly every day and there are a number of factors that contribute to this. Pakistan tops the list of having ‘lost the most children under the age of five’ and air contamination is a factor that largely contributes to this.

Poisonous air – a leading cause of grave health implications:

Image: Statista


Nine out of ten of us are breathing polluted air. According to WHO, more than 93% of the world’s 1.8 billion children are exposed to toxic air pollution. It also includes 630 million under the age of five.

Breathing in such intoxicated air can cause children to attract diseases like cancer, pneumonia (lung infection), bronchitis and asthma etc. Tonsils have become a common thing. The question that arises is how our kids are supposed to lead a long and healthy life when they are exposed to such quality of air every day of their lives. This can also cause long-term diseases that are life risking. However, adults also face such problems and experience many deadly diseases.

Air pollution harms the lives of thousands every day. Though it is often ignored and overlooked, it still remains a big concern. Strict action must be taken to control the issue so the upcoming generation stays protected from its poison. More importantly, we are in need of mass-scale awareness campaigns to aware the general public about preventive measures and fight the challenge.

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