Capital’s air quality revives healthy after persistent decline in vehicular emissions

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The air quality of federal capital on Monday was recorded healthy after persistent decline in vehicular emissions due to less vehicular emissions amid reduced office timings during Ramadan in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The terrain of the Capital is unique with Margalla Hills National Park forming its crown on the northern edge and vast areas on the southern side covered with thriving number of trees making it one of the scenic and greener cities of the country.

The air pollution in the capital was mainly derived from vehicular emissions, garbage or leaf-burning at certain sites, industrial emissions, and brick kilns falling in its far vicinity, a Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) told APP.

The particulate matter of 2.5 microns or PM2.5, which is a hazardous atmospheric effluent generated in response to burning of any material, was recorded on average below 32 (31.5) microgrammes per cubic meter which was a 24-hour mean value.

The PM2.5 was a health damaging air pollutant directly impacting lungs and causing other serious health complications during extreme prevalence in the atmosphere.

The Pak-EPA’s national environmental quality standards (NEQS) for 24-hours average PM2.5 concentration was 35 microgrammes per cubic meter indicating healthy air quality whereas the World Health Organization introduced more sticker air quality standards for PM2.5 of 15 microgrammes per cubic meter.

The EPA official added that the nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide concentrations were also recorded very low, during the day, which were below the NEQS of 80 and 120 microgrammes per cubic meter respectively.

She elaborated that the nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide were mainly generated through industrial activities which were limited during the past days.

It was important to note that the Capital received no rainfall during the past many days but the air quality remained benign due to reduced vehicular emissions.

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