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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Smog strikes: Lahore declared world’s most polluted city

The recent wave of smog made Lahore the most polluted city in the world. Pakistanis are suffering from a bad atmosphere and government vows to take all necessary steps to handle the situation.

With the worsened air quality in Lahore, the city has been declared the world’s most polluted city. The recent wave of smog has worsened the air quality in Lahore reached with the Air Quality index reaching up to 250-300.

The deterioration of air quality in Lahore forced the provincial government to shut down schools and other educational institutions in Lahore, Gujranwala, and Faisalabad. AirVisual, the international air quality monitoring agency alerted that the air quality index between 169 and 390 has been recorded in various areas of Lahore. The international agency warned that current air quality in Lahore is extremely dangerous for humans and animals.

The claims were further backed by the air particulate reading that was recorded at 195 microgrammes per unit; said to be 19 times worse than what is considered as safe air for humans and animals.


The particles are minute enough to be visible through the electron microscope, said a report. They tend to exist in the air for a longer period increases the risk of being inhaled by humans and animals. Such small particles can enter the lungs and even circulatory system gradually posing threat to survival in the long run.

The more exposure to fine particles in the air the greater the risk of premature deaths from lungs and heart disease claims several studies. These fine particles also heighten the risk of chronic diseases like asthma and bronchitis.

Punjab Environment Protection Department has declared air quality in Punjab satisfactory but advised citizens to use masks and glasses to diminish the effects of smog.

Read more: Has Smog become a fifth season in Pakistan?

Residents of Lahore have been complaining of itchy eyes, sore throat due to inhaling toxic air.

Experts say the fine particles are released in the environment through the emission from power plants, smoke from vehicles, and agricultural burning. The condition worsens in winter, converting into smog. The smog has been attributed to the temperature changes in winter that create a layer of warm air that traps air pollutants.


In 2007, Lahore High Court had ordered the authorities to formulate a smog response action plan. Whereas the current ban on burning agricultural waste has proved futile since authorities are urged to come up with a robust plan to tackle smog.