The air quality of the federal capital on Thursday was reported consistently healthy for the third day as the ratio of air pollutants was recorded below the permissible limits in the atmosphere due to reduced vehicular traffic in peak hours.
The air quality data has been collected by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) that monitors air pollutants ratio for 24 hours based on three intervals of eight hours data collection from different locations.
The Pak-EPA data revealed that the air quality throughout the three intervals of data monitoring remained low as the pollutants were little less than the permissible limits of national environmental quality standards (NEQS).
The hazardous air pollutant particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) which was a lethal atmospheric contaminant remained 27.43 microgrammes per cubic meter on average which is below the NEQS of 35 mic-programmes per cubic meter and denotes the air quality healthy.
The PM2.5 is generated through combustion of an engine, industrial emissions, burning garbage or inflammable material, and dust blown up by fasting moving cars plying on non-cemented patches of the roads.
The EPA official underlined that the PM2.5 was also below NEQS till March 27 which was 27.5 microgrammes per cubic meter and remained the same since onset of local and public holidays of four days in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad due to OIC moot and Pakistan Day Parade.
However, a slight jump was mainly due to congestion of automobiles plying on the roads owing to Ramadan timings during the peak working hours, he added.
The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) were recorded below permissible ratio as it were recorded 11.54 and 23.80 microgrammes per cubic meter in past 24 hours in the atmosphere against the NEQS of 80 and 120 microgrammes per cubic meter respectively.