Rise in ambient pollution fears surge in respiratory illness

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The rise in air pollution has feared an increase in respiratory ailments among the masses after the air quality of the Federal Capital deteriorated due to a persistent dry weather that ensued in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad at the onset of fall season with a little warm weather which resulted in increased creation of dust particles and particulate matter in the atmosphere.

The Federal Capital’s ambience started tainting amid steady rise in air pollutant’s ratio due to increased vehicular emissions and human activities. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency daily air quality report noted that the air pollutants ratio recorded were below permissible limits and the air quality was healthy.

The air quality data was collected by Pak-EPA for 24 hours based on three intervals of eight hours of data collection from different locations of the federal capital.

The Pak-EPA data revealed that the air quality throughout the three intervals of data monitoring remained low as the ratio of pollutants ratio was below the permissible limits of national environmental quality standards.The hazardous air pollutant particulate matter of 2.5 microns, which was a lethal atmospheric contaminant, remained 42 micro grammes per cubic meter on average which is higher than the NEQS of 35 mic-programmes per cubic meter and denoted the air quality unhealthy. The PM2.5 is generated through combustion of an engine, industrial emissions, burning garbage or inflammable material and dust blown up by fast moving cars plying on non-cemented patches of the roads. Senior Pulmonologist at Pakistan Insitutute of Medical Sciences, Dr Zia Ul Haq told APP that there were two major factors for respiratory diseases during winter season namely dry and cold air.

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