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Health Islamabad Pakistan

Rise in ambient pollution risks respiratory epidemics among citizens.

Air pollution affecting health in twin cities.

ISLAMABAD: The spiking up air pollution has resulted in an increase in respiratory ailments among the residents of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad after the air quality of the Federal Capital turned unhealthy due to a persistent dry weather.

The twin cities’ ambience started polluting after steady rise in air pollutant’s ratio due to increased vehicular emissions and human activities.

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) daily air quality report also highlighted increased air pollutants ratio recorded above permissible limits and the air quality was unhealthy.

The hazardous air pollutant particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5), which was a lethal atmospheric contaminant, remained beyond 50 micro grammes per cubic meter on average which was higher than the NEQS of 35 mic-programmes per cubic meter and denoted the air quality unhealthy.

The PM2.5 is generated through combustion of an engine, industrial emissions, burning garbage or inflammable material and dust blown up by fast moving cars plying on non-cemented patches of the roads.

Senior Pulmonologist at Pakistan Insitutute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Dr Zia Ul Haq told APP that dry and cold air was mainly the reasons behind respiratory diseases during winters. He said the respiratory track consisting of throat and lungs had internal surfaces possessing normal bacteria whereas there was no breach in it.

However, he said the dry and cold air at different phases due to increased exposure of an individual in the outdoors caused breaches in the lining of respiratory track which used to lead to an infection and also damage the normal secretions taking place inside the breathing organs.

Dr Haq informed that at the moment there was spike up in the cases of people reporting breathing or respiratory complications which was mostly reported during extreme cold temperatures. He said the pulmonologists usually advise the elderly above 50 years of age or patients of chronic heart, kidneys, and lungs diseases to get flu vaccine during the peak winter season to avoid respiratory diseases.

The senior pulmonologists said the people were also advised to avoid unnecessary prolonged outdoor visits during the morning and evening timings of cold weather whereas in case of any visit they should properly cover their eyes, and face by wearing face masks and coverings.

Moreover, he also directed the masses to ensure intake of warm fluids as necessary beverage like warm water and hot tea etc. to control damages to the respiratory track amid bad weather and air quality.