LAHORE: Lahore on Monday witnessed the worst air quality in the world, followed by New Delhi (India), and Pristina Kosovo).
According to Air Visual, an organisation that provides free access to the world’s largest air quality database and ranks the world’s cities according to the Air Quality Index (AQI), Lahore is now on number 1 in the list of cities having the worst air quality in the world with an AQI of 256, down from an AQI of 315 and a ranking of number 2 reported last week.
On November 13, Pakistan Today reported that Lahore was on number 9 on the list with an AQI of 153.
According to the Pakistani Air Quality Monitoring Project, The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that there are many reasons to be worried about the air quality in Lahore, with a yearly average of 68 µg/m3 of PM2.5, which corresponds to a 155 – Unhealthy Air Quality Index.
Speaking about precautionary measures against the worsening air quality in Lahore, Dr Imtiaz said,”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.”
at a conference organised by WWF-Pakistan, environment experts urged the government to take immediate measures to improve air quality by offering support and solutions; and said that air pollution in Pakistan has become a “public health emergency.”
The World Health Organisation says that some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6 per cent of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.
A real-time world map on the organisation’s website shows Pakistan in the red zone alongside India, indicating the poorest levels of air pollution and quality.
Nearly 90 per cent of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low-and-middle-income countries, with nearly 2 out of 3 occurring in WHO’s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.