ISLAMABAD – Lahore has topped the list of most polluted cities with highest air pollution level of 121.85 micrograms per cubic meter that is three times higher than the safe standards, followed by Peshawar and the Federal Capital.
The facts were revealed in statistics gathered by the Pakistan Environment Agency (Pak-EPA) under its Air Monitoring System.
In 2005,the implementation agency of the Ministry of Environment, Pak-EPA established the Air Quality Monitoring System in five major cities that include Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta with assistance of Japan.
The project envisaged the installation of fixed and mobile air monitoring stations in these five cities to collect data about the ambient air quality.
The data showed presence of high-suspended Particulate Matter in the air of major cities. The very fine Particular Matters (PM2.5) of size 2.5 micron and below was found as high as three times the safe standards (35 microgram/m3) at Lahore.
Recorded average pollution level of major cities revealed that Peshawar and Islamabad are also highly polluted cities. Recorded pollution level of Peshawar was 76.1 micrograms per cubic meter, 73 micrograms per cubic meter in Islamabad, 53.2 micrograms per cubic meter in Karachi and 47.1 micrograms per cubic meter were recorded in Quetta city.
It was also revealed that the high pollution levels were mainly caused by the emission from vehicles, industrial activities and fine natural dust and aerosols. Moreover, the transponders air pollution from neighbouring countries has also aggravated air quality of the cities.