Pakistan’s Karachi is world’s 3rd most polluted city. Officials’ solution: Masks

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Karachi’s deteriorating air quality has prompted Acting Sindh Chief Minister Justice (Retd) Maqbool Bakar to advocate for the widespread use of masks, Ariy News reported.

People are silhouetted as they row rowing boats in smog as air pollution levels rise in Karachi, Pakistan (Reuters)

In a statement from the Principal’s Council, he emphasized that students in educational institutions should wear masks to avoid health problems related to smoke.

Apart from individual measures, the Chief Minister also urges a collective transition away from car-based infrastructure. Aiming to address the causes of worsening air pollution, he supports investing in public transport and pedestrian-friendly options, ARY News reported.

Karachi is currently the third worst city in the world for air quality, according to IQAir. This development coincides with heavy smog affecting various parts of the country, especially Punjab, where Lahore has repeatedly topped international air pollution charts.

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The Air Quality Index (AQI) shows hazardous levels, reaching 151-200, classified as unhealthy. A further spread of 201 to 300 is considered more harmful, while an AQI above 300 is considered very dangerous.

Winter exacerbates air quality issues, causing dense atmospheric particles, loaded with carbon and smog, to settle. The effects of these pollutants, such as crop residues, industrial emissions, and the burning of coal, garbage, oil, or tires, continue into winter.

The plea for mask use is related to environmental sustainability and public health issues. As states grapple with worsening pollution levels, the focus on preventive measures and sustainable urban development becomes increasingly urgent, reports ARY News.

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