LAHORE: The annual cost of environmental degradation in Pakistan is about $4.3 billion which is 4.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This was disclosed in a report of Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) regarding the hazards of environmental pollution.
Specific examples in this regard are air, land and water degradation, drought and desertification, water logging, forest depletion, loss of biodiversity, vehicular and industrial pollution and climate change, the report added.
Major air pollutants in industrialized countries include carbon monoxide (50 per cent of the total air pollutants), sulphur dioxide (18 per cent), Hydrocarbon (12 per cent), particular matter (Smoke, pesticide, 10 per cent) and nitrogen (6 per cent). Air pollution appears to be a contributing factor in bronchitis, obstruvtice pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
Chemical compounds that contribute to environmental pollutants include the polychlorinated biphenyl, dioxins, asbestos and heavy metals.
In populated areas especially urban areas, the breathing air is harmful for health as it has been confirmed through different studies that the harmful pollutants usually exceed the allowable limits. It has been observed that increase sulphur dioxide affects human health causing irritation of eyes, nose, throat, damage to lungs when inhaled, acute and chronic asthma bronchitis and emphysema and lung cancer.
It also creates acid rain which can erode buildings, kill aquatic organisms, destroy crop lands and damage natural habits, the report maintained.