Saturday Nov 11, 2017
Lahore’s air is unsafe and toxic. But just how toxic, few of us know. Air pollution is a silent, invisible and, until now, an unbeatable killer. India’s Delhi is grappling with the same public health emergency, smog - a thick, soupy mixture hanging over the city.
Alarming readings, from across the border, of the fine particle matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that can get lodged in the lungs - noted as PM 2.5 - underlines the need for urgent regional measures. Pollution trackers estimate that breathing in Delhi is as bad as smoking 50 cigarettes a day. However, here, in Pakistan, the government-run Environment Protection Agency has shied away from releasing official data from its six air quality monitors.
Refusing to stay in the dark, citizens in Lahore have installed air quality stations at their homes, provided by AirVisual, an air pollution application, which offers people real-time access and hourly updates of the air quality readings in Lahore. Here is how harmful the air was this past week:
(Data via @LahoreSmog)
WHO guideline is 35 μg/m³ per 24 hours.