Peshawar witnesses alarming increase in AQI; people advised to use mask outdoor

PESHAWAR: The air pollution in the provincial capital was recorded as unhealthy for public health and alarming as the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city reached 265. According to Director General Environmental Protection Agency Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (EPA KP) Anwar Khan, on November 26, 2023, the AQI in Peshawar touched the record dangerous level of 285, adding that an AQI above 151 is considered unhealthy, while above 301 it becomes is hazardous for breathing.

He said that there were many reasons for increasing air pollution including the release of fumes and smoke from marble factories and other industries, brick kilns, smoke-emitting vehicles especially outdated school buses, public transport, rickshaws and taxis. The DG said that about 400,000 vehicles run on roads of Peshawar daily, adding that citizens should take precautionary measures including avoiding outdoor exercise, keeping windows closed at home and offices wearing masks outdoors and using air purifiers in the rooms. He said the high level of AQI increases respiratory diseases due to environmental pollution besides contributing to chest, skin, eye and lung diseases.

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