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Smog in Lahore: Health implications and tips to protect yourself

Lahore is the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Punjab and one of the country’s main commercial hubs with the population of over 11 million. The historic city has now become one of the world’s most polluted cities as it recorded its highest ever smog levels after the Air Quality Index (AQI) went above 700 last week.

The PM2.5 (particulate matter) concentration in Lahore is currently 75.6 times above the WHO’s annual air quality value.

Reasons for the worsening levels of pollution in Lahore:

  • During the winter season (October to February)) farmers set fire to crop stubble in their fields that produces thick smoke
  • Air pollution in Lahore is also caused by combination of industrial and vehicle emissions and dust from construction sites
  • Large scale felling of trees also adds to smog

How does smog affect your health?

Smog and air pollution can cause irritation in the throat, nose, eyes or lungs and breathing may be affected.

How to protect yourself during suffocating smog?

Experts recommend following tips to protect yourself during smog:

  • Avoid main arterial roads and heavy traffic
  • Keep the windows closed
  • Use exhaust fan while cooking
  • Eat vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid exercising in smoggy conditions
  • Pray for rain

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