Karachiites advised to wear masks amid worsening air quality

KARACHI (HRNW) With the province’s capital city experiencing high levels of air pollution, health experts have urged the general public to restrict their outdoor activities and wear masks to protect themselves from the deteriorating levels of air quality.

The health experts described Karachi’s air quality as “very unhealthy” and advised citizens to reduce the intensity of outdoor activities especially during peak pollution times.

Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) Vice Chancellor Prof Amjad Siraj Memon urged the government to implement strict regulations to reduce pollution levels.

The advice came after Karachi ranked 5th most polluted city in the world on the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday morning.

Karachi was measured to have 177 reading of particulate matter on the air quality index. Minimum temperature will remain 15-degree Celsius in the metropolis today, according to the Met Office.

It is to be mentioned here that AQI as high as 151-200 is considered unhealthy, while an AQI reading between 201 to 300 is more harmful and AQI reading over 300 mark is extremely hazardous.

According to experts, the air becomes heavier in the winter as compared to summer, causing poisonous particles in the atmosphere to move downwards and making the atmosphere polluted. As a result, a layer of polluted particles, including large amounts of carbon and smoke, covers an area.

The smoke produced by factories or by burning coal, garbage, oil or tyres, enters the atmosphere and its impact appears at the onset of the winter and remains till the end of the season, experts said.

Although southwestern winds blowing from the sea in Karachi, work as a filter for the air, these winds remain mostly suspended during the winter, experts said.