Lahore, one of Pakistan’s biggest city, is under a constant threat of Air Pollution. According to IQ Air Visual, the city tops the list of the most polluted cities in the world. Lahore recorded an alarming number of 303 US AQI on Monday, which means that its air quality is the most hazardous. The damages of Air Pollution can be seen in the form of Smog. The Smog season lasts between October and November.
This article will not be covering the extent of damage this Air Pollution in the city has caused so far, in fact, it will be covering the precautions needed to minimize the amount of damage as much as possible.
Firstly we need to identify the root cause of the problem, the factors which amount to such a dangerous level of air pollution. One of the main factor which has been responsible for the promotion of pollution in Lahore is the burning of biomass, most commonly known as crop burning. During the Kharif Season, October to December, farmers involved in wheat farming burn the remains of the crop. This burning leads to the emission of very harmful gases which in turn cause air pollution. This uncontrolled and unregulated burning has proved to be very disastrous for the city so far. Pity, no solid action is being taken against this heinous crime.
Moreover, Punjab is also referred to as the hub of the Brick Kilns and Coal powered projects. the untreated smoke from these kilns and plants also adds its part in the air pollution. In addition to that, the unadministered presence of two-stroke vehicles have not only caused havoc on roads but is also a main player in increasing air pollution, therefore, worsening the Air Quality.
Moving on to the solution. The air quality in Lahore is hazardous, and so it is not a warning but a straight threat to the lives of the citizens. It is just not ‘dusty air’ the air in Lahore has deleterious chemicals mixed in it.
1) Considering the extreme situation, the surgeon masks we see people wearing are of no use now. They just protect you from dust and no harmful chemicals that you inhale in.
2) The N99 Masks or the N95 masks will suffice the need in this Smog Season in Lahore. As they are affordable and protect the user from injurious substances.
3) During the Smog Season, you should try to avoid outdoor exercises and must minimize your exposure to open air.
4) If you are patient of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease then it is strongly advised to keep your inhaler with you all the time.
5) Stay away from the places and things which are causing pollution such as old Rickshaws and Motorcycles as they are the epicenter of carbon monoxide and other harmful gases.
But to avoid all the hustle mentioned above, there is one solution right in your hand. Start planting more trees! Trees are natural air filters they help keep the environment clean, green, and healthy!
Already 135,000 people are dying in Pakistan due to air pollution and this number is rapidly increasing. How many more deaths will it take to wake us up from the sleep of ignorance? Because we do not know that we are slipping towards disaster.