THIS refers to the news item ‘Hazy Lahore declared most polluted city in the world’ (Nov 2). In the fast-paced, cut-throat world of the 21st century, revolutionising inventions and thriving industrialisation do not come cheap. The hazy white clouds of smog you see on the skies around you indicate the harm the mankind has done to Mother Nature.

Air quality index (AQI) is a measure of the quality of air of a location or a place. It is a scale up to 500 points; the greater the AQI score, the serious are the health hazards associated with it.

Punjab’s capital city Lahore stands at an alarming spot on the scale. With an AQI of 370, it is ranked the top most polluted city in the world by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Foggy clouds and other climatic crises are adding to the woes of the masses and the health professionals alike. People with health issues are likely to suffer more due to such toxic air. This cocktail of lethal gases, like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, is contributing to premature deaths from respiratory infections, lung cancers, strokes and heart diseases.

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) emphasised the need to accelerate actions to curb climate change. Since the effects of climate change are massive, there is a need to adopt robust measures by all the countries without any exception.

Zubaria Aslam Khan

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2021


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