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Saturday Dec 07, 2013

Rising air pollution badly affecting Karachiites

KARACHI: Rising air pollution is badly affecting health of people in Karachi and if urgent steps are not taken to reduce it, the citizen will face serious health hazardous like caner, lung, heart and respiratory diseases.

The air in Karachi atmosphere is rapidly polluted by vehicular smoke, industrial emissions, burning garbage, house fires, and other particles but the government and environment organizations seems non-serious to tackle the issue timely.

Hazardous air pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, are those pollutants that cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects. Most air toxics originate from human-made sources, including cars, trucks, buses and stationary sources like factories, refineries, power plants, as well as building materials and activities such as cleaning.

Experts are of the view that the human exposure to harmful air pollution generated by vehicles is contributing to diseases and reduction in life span of people.

A SUPARCO report said: “Encourage environment friendly practices like conversion of automobiles to CNG fuel with use of catalytic converter, Development of public transport infrastructure. Promote public awareness/training in schools and different community organizations.”

It said two-stroke engine on rickshaws and motor cycles are major polluters of air on the five corridors. “Two-stroke engines as well as defective or unturned vehicles are major polluters with CO emissions. Two-stroke engines as well as defective vehicles using sub standard lubricants are major emitters of SO2 and smoke. Vehicles operating on CNG & LPG are major polluters.”

It further said other sources contributing to air pollution levels are industrial emissions, brick Kiln, landfills, biomass degradation, solid waste open burning, cement industries. “Similarly paper and pulp industry is a source of gaseous pollutants like SO2, CO, and CO2. Steel industry is associated with metallic pollutants as well as NOx, SOx CO, CO2."

The report said the industrial processes brick kilns external combustion boilers and portable diesel generators also share the major contribution of PM10, PM2.5, SO2 etc. All these industries are introducing a number of metallic and non metallic pollutants to surrounding environment and adversely affecting the air quality to an alarming level, the report concluded.

The government needs to take immediate steps to reduce air pollution for good of human health and socila development.