Lahore, the second-largest city in Pakistan, is grappling with a severe smog crisis that poses significant threats to the health and well-being of its residents. According to IQAir, an organization that monitors global air quality, Lahore recently earned the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality in the world, with a hazardous Air Quality Index (AQI) of 400 in the morning. This alarming revelation underscores the urgent need to address the underlying causes of the city’s deteriorating air quality.
Understanding the Air Quality Index (AQI)
The AQI serves as a crucial metric for assessing the levels of pollution in the air. It is calculated based on five categories of pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Each of these pollutants has distinct sources, ranging from industrial emissions to vehicular exhaust and agricultural activities.
The Severity of Lahore’s Air Quality
AQI levels provide valuable insights into the severity of air pollution. An AQI between 151 and 200 is considered unhealthy, while a rating between 201 and 300 is more harmful. When the AQI surpasses 300, the air quality is deemed extremely hazardous. In Lahore’s case, the AQI of 400 reflects an alarming level of pollution, posing serious risks to the health of the city’s residents.
Here is the information in tabular format:
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|301 and above
Seasonal Variations and Contributing Factors
Experts note that air pollution tends to escalate during the winter months in Lahore. Changes in wind speed, wind direction, and sliding minimum temperatures contribute to the deterioration of air quality. The colder weather causes the air to become heavier, leading to the downward movement of poisonous particles in the atmosphere. This phenomenon results in the formation of a layer of polluted particles, including significant amounts of carbon and smoke, covering the affected area.
Impacts on Health and Livelihoods
The consequences of Lahore’s air quality crisis extend beyond mere discomfort. Prolonged exposure to high levels of air pollution can lead to severe health issues, including respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and other respiratory illnesses. Additionally, the hazardous air quality poses a threat to the livelihoods of the city’s residents, affecting outdoor activities, work productivity, and overall quality of life.
Urgent Measures Needed
Addressing Lahore’s smog crisis requires a multi-faceted approach. Immediate measures must be taken to control industrial emissions, reduce vehicular pollution, and implement stricter regulations on burning practices. Furthermore, public awareness campaigns can play a crucial role in fostering a sense of responsibility among citizens to contribute to the collective effort of improving air quality.
Important Questions Related to Exams
Q. What is the current Air Quality Index (AQI) in Lahore according to IQAir?
A: Lahore’s AQI was reported as 400, categorizing it as “hazardous” in the morning.
Q. How is the AQI calculated, and what are the five categories of pollutants considered?
A: The AQI is calculated based on ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
Q: What measures can be taken to address Lahore’s air quality crisis?
A: Immediate measures include controlling industrial emissions, reducing vehicular pollution, and implementing stricter regulations on burning practices.