Lahore is facing a significant air quality problem. On a recent Saturday morning, Lahore had a thick layer of haze in the air, and its Air Quality Index was measured at a ‘Hazardous’ level, surpassing 384. This situation has persisted for several days, causing Lahore to consistently rank as one of the most polluted cities in the world.
According to the Swiss air quality monitor IQAir, Lahore’s air pollution was the worst globally on that particular Saturday, with an AQI of 384. This level is categorized as ‘Hazardous,’ and it’s particularly concerning because the PM2.5 concentration in the city was 66.8 times higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended annual air quality guideline.
PM2.5 refers to tiny particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, and it’s used to measure air quality both outdoors and indoors.
In Lahore, the areas with the highest pollution levels included The Mall road, the US consulate, and the Polo Ground in Cantt, all with poor AQI ratings.
Lahore’s air quality has consistently been unhealthy, not just in recent months, but for the past few years, especially during the ‘fifth season’ of smog. Air quality tends to worsen from September to at least February. According to IQAir data, the second most polluted city globally was New Delhi, India, with an AQI of 198 ‘Unhealthy’.