The federal capital’s virtual lockdown that began on March 25 to contain the risk of a Coronavirus outbreak. This lockdown has resulted in a drastic decline in air pollution.
Pakistan Environmental Protection (EPA) Deputy Director Labs Dr Mohsina Zubair told that this was mainly due to cut down in traffic. She further said that as per the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) daily air quality report, hazardous environmental pollutants of 2.5 microns(PM 2.5) was below the permissible limits of National Environmental Quality Standards.
Dr Mohsina informed that as schools, colleges, universities and offices were shut down PM 2.5 ratio has also dropped to a single-digit value of 4ug/m3 during the day.
However, PM 2.5 was below the WHO 24 hours mean of 20 micrograms per meter cube that was recorded for the first time in Federal Capital’s ambient air quality history.
It may be noted here that WHO, in a report published last year, has said that air pollution causes a huge number of premature deaths. This is because PM 2.5 could enter human blood through lungs cells.
The officials also explained that heavy traffic running on diesel used to cause most of the harm to the environment. Now, as the city is in lock downstate, the heavy traffic is nowhere on the roads, and the regular traffic is also seen very less. Factories and industries are also closed due to which the wastage and disposal activities are not occurring.
Officials further explained that as the air quality has improved a lot in the recent days, therefore, it’s the best time to compare how much harm we cause to the environment.