PESHAWAR: After Lahore and Karachi, the air pollution in Peshawar was recorded as unhealthy and alarming as the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city reached 296 on Thursday.
Anwar Khan, Director General Environmental Protection Agency, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said AQI in Peshawar touched the record dangerous level of 290.
He added an AQI above 151 was considered unhealthy, while above 301 was hazardous for breathing.
He said there were many reasons for increasing air pollution, including the release of fumes and smoke from marble factories and other industries, brick kilns, smoke-emitting vehicles, especially outdated school buses, public transport, rickshaws and taxis.
Mr Anwar said about 400,000 vehicles ran on roads of Peshawar daily, adding citizens should take precautionary measures, including avoiding outdoor exercise, keeping windows closed at homes and offices, wearing masks outdoors and using air purifiers in rooms.
Meanwhile, different areas of Lahore received light rain earlier on Thursday morning, bringing down the mercury level further and clearing the atmosphere of thick smog.
For the past few months, the Punjab capital had been engulfed with clouds of smog that worsened the air quality of the city, prompting widespread health concerns among all age groups and placing the city at the top of the world’s most polluted cities.