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October 31, 2019

Smog follows dengue to haunt Lahorites


October 31, 2019

LAHORE:Smog emerged as a major air pollutant in the provincial metropolis on Wednesday already facing dengue crisis. The smog is posing serious health hazards especially diseases relating to eyes, lungs and skin to Lahorites.

According to the experts, smog is the chemical reaction of sunlight, nitrogen oxides (NO) and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere, which leaves airborne particles, called particulate matter, and ground-level ozone. This ground level layer of ozone is formed from other pollutants and can react with other substances, in both cases under the action of light. Environmentalists term ozone (O3) the most important photochemical oxidant. They say it is a secondary pollutant formed when precursor pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NO) and volatile organic compounds react under the action of light.

They say that ozone is also transported long distances in the atmosphere and is, therefore, considered a trans-boundary problem.

Smog is a problem in a number of cities and continues to harm human health. Ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide carbon monoxide are especially harmful for senior citizens, children, and people with heart and lung conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. It can inflame breathing passages, decreasing the lungs' working capacity, and causing shortness of breath, pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing, and coughing.

On the other hand, Met officials said that very severe cyclonic storm KYARR is active in the Arabian Sea. Under the influence of this storm, moist currents are penetrating coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan. A westerly wave is present in upper parts of the country and is likely to affect north-western parts in next 24-36 hours. They predicted that mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while cold in northern areas. However, cloudy weather condition with rain and dust storm is expected in districts of Sindh and Balochistan. Cloudy weather conditions with rain (snowfall over high mountains) are also expected at isolated places in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. On Wednesday, rain was recorded in Mithi, Tharparkar, Mirkhani, Dir and Drosh. Lowest temperature was recorded at Skardu where the mercury dropped to 0°C while in Lahore it maximum temperature was 31°C and minimum 17.7°C.

Meanwhile, Environment Protection Authority DG held a press conference here and said the department had imposed a complete ban on smoke emitting industrial units, brick kilns and other such units. He said the smoke due to burning of remains of crop at the Indian side is contributing heavily in building up smog.

Naseemur Rehman, a senior EPD official, said that during the month of October, the department inspected 3,277 air polluting units, 1,696 notices were issued to various air polluting industries, 288 brick kilns and air polluting industries were sealed and 129 FIRs were registered.

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