Lahore, Karachi on top of most polluted cities on AQI

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Lahore ranked first, and Karachi has been second most polluted city on the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Monday.

Pakistan’s two biggest cities have got the dubious distinction of soaring to first and second from the top in the most polluted cities of the world on the air pollution measurement scale.

Lahore was measured to have 187 hazardous particulate matter and Karachi 179 particulate matter, according to the air quality index.

It is to be mentioned here that AQI as high as 151-200 is considered unhealthy, while an AQI reading between 201 to 300 is more harmful and AQI over 300 mark is dubbed extremely hazardous.

According to experts, the air becomes heavier in the winter as compared to summer, causing poisonous particles in the atmosphere to move downwards and making the atmosphere polluted. As a result, a layer of polluted particles, including large amounts of carbon and smoke, covers a city.

The smoke produced by factories and by burning coal, garbage, oil or tyres enters the atmosphere and the effects of this appear at the onset of winter and remain till the season’s end, experts said.

Thus, air pollution reaches extremely dangerous levels in cold weather, severely compromising air quality.

Although southwestern winds blowing from the sea in Karachi may work as a filter for the air, these winds remain mostly suspended during the winter, according to experts.

They noted that winds blowing from the northeast increase the concentration of hidden polluted particles, and a healthy atmosphere in such a situation is subject to rainfall, which washes off all polluted particles.—INP

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