Amnesty International censures Pakistan for failing to protect people from “exposure to hazardous air”

Pakistan's worst air quality becomes a global subject of discussion.

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Due to deteriorating air quality, Amnesty International censures the Pakistani government. According to the report, the step has been taken by the global watchdog for Pakistan’s failure to protect people from “exposure to hazardous air” and “risking and violating human rights to life and health”.

As per the statements revealed by Amnesty, the organization noted that AQI (Air Quality Index), Lahore touched 484 at 10:00am PST on Wednesday.

“The threshold for ‘hazardous’ level of air quality is 300 where people are advised to ‘avoid all physical activity outdoors’.”

Amnesty said that for most of this year, Lahore’s air quality fluctuated between unhealthy and very unhealthy.

“During the smog season – from October to January – air quality reaches hazardous levels.”

The data was collected by the Pakistan Air Quality Initiative, using monitors installed by United States Consulate in Lahore. The data was also crowd-sourced.

“The high level of smog is neither a new problem nor one that came without warning. The government of Pakistan needs to do much more to adequately address such a severe public health crisis – one that endangers people’s health and even their lives,” said Rimmel Mohydin, South Asia Campaigner at Amnesty International.

”Prolonged or heavy exposure to hazardous air can result in severe health issues”

Amnesty further added that  “prolonged or heavy exposure to hazardous air can result in severe health issues including asthma, lung damage, bronchial infections, and heart problems and shortened life expectancy – putting at risk people’s rights to life and to health, as well as the right to a healthy environment.”

“The so-called ‘smog season’ is where poor fuel quality, uncontrolled emissions, and crop burning worsens the quality of the already unhealthy air, from October to December,” the press release further added.

“Air pollution and climate crisis are intricately linked. It exacerbates existing inequalities and paves the way for human rights violations. If authorities continue to stall making concerted efforts to address the smog crisis, it will continue to devastate human life,” said Rimmel Mohydin.

Via: Express Tribune 

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