Lahore, The City With The Worst Air Quality In The World

Pakistani children walk to school in heavy smog in Lahore on November 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

Lahore has the worst air quality in the world, followed by India’s Delhi and Kosovo’s Pristina. The data was shared by an organisation that provides free access to the world’s largest air quality database and ranks the world’s cities according to the AQI (Air Quality Index), named Air Visual.
For December 3, it ranked Lahore the worst in the world, which speaks for the magnitude of the problem itself.

As per the Pakistani Air Quality Monitoring Project, WHO (World Health Organization) says there are many reasons to be worried about air quality in Lahore. Punjab’s Capital stands with a yearly average of 68 µg/m3 of PM2.5, which corresponds to a 155 – Unhealthy Air Quality Index.

Despite the desperation of the situation, we fail to see any awareness drives or precautionary measures. 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. 

                                                        AIR POLLUTION – A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY IN PAKISTAN

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 outdoor air pollution, as per WHO.

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, 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.

Also See: With PM Imran Khan, Here’s How People Are Showing Determination Towards A Clean And Green Pakistan

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.

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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