After Delhi, toxic smog blankets Lahore in Pakistan; from stubble burning in India to cars, see who all is being blamed

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New Delhi | Updated: November 2, 2017 1:53:35 PM

As India and China, are reeling from the ill effects of bad air that is spawning ailments and seriously affecting the very young and the old especially, it is now being reported that neighboring Pakistan too is reeling from the deleterious effects of toxic air in the atmosphere.

Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, for the last couple of days, has witnessed thick cloudy blanket of smog all over the city. (Representational image/ Reuters)

As the two major Asian countries, India and China, are reeling from the ill effects of bad air that is spawning ailments and seriously affecting the very young and the old especially, it is now being reported that neighboring Pakistan too is reeling from the deleterious effects of toxic air in the atmosphere. Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, for the last couple of days, has witnessed thick cloudy blanket of smog all over the city. People in Lahore have complained of breathing problems and irritable eyes and throat infections. Doctors have even gone to the extent of advising people to wear face-masks for protection.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city in the last few days has been hovering around the 225 mark, as per Geo News. Experts say that AQI between 0 and 50 is considered as safe and if the index is between 200 and 300 it is ‘very unhealthy’.

The report noted that every winter, thick smog descends over the city. Environment activists have said that rapid industrialisation, growing vehicular emissions, tree slashing, and rampant construction activity have been contributing to the levels of air pollution in Lahore.

The local environmental department has said, it is primarily, due to waste burning and pollution from seven million vehicles in a city which is causing the smog. Lahore is a city with 11 million population. The department has also identified that crop stubble burning in India contributes to Lahore’s air quality. Chief Meteorologist Riaz Khan said the smog will only get cleared when it rains and washes away the lower layers of the atmosphere

According to the WHO, the number of fatalities in Pakistan from exposure to fine particulate matter due to air pollution is amongst the highest in the world. This has caused 60,000 deaths in 2015, the report said.

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