Air Pollution ‘More Lethal Than Malaria’
Is the air we breathe killing us slowly?
Breathing in Pakistan’s air appears to be as costly as commodities being sold in markets currently (courtesy our incumbent finance minister).
According to a report titled State of Global Air 2019, 128,000 people in the country died in 2017 alone due to air-pollution related conditions. This ranks Pakistan second in the list of top 10 countries with the highest mortality due to air pollution. China and India are at a tie for the first place with a total of 2.4 million deaths.
Air pollution is categorized into two – indoor and outdoor air pollution. The data of the report identified that 52% of Pakistan’s population is exposed to household air pollution. As for outdoor air pollution, the country’s entire population lives in areas that exceed the WHO’s air quality guidelines.
These figures are worrisome, leaving the entire population vulnerable to air pollution-related illnesses. These range from asthma to other pulmonary illnesses. So, what can be done to help avert the situation?
While it is mainly the responsibility of the government to ensure that the air we breath is free of any toxins, here are a few things we can do to try not to die while breathing.
Stop Trash Burning
The practice of burning trash we throw outside in our streets or backyards directly releases pollutants into the air.
By getting rid of the garbage accumulated through burning it into ash in the short-run, we are only costing ourselves in the long-run.
And if you aren’t the ones directly involved in the process, make sure to educate those who are.
The ones with the privilege of owning a car, more often than not, prefer driving to and from work. But so many cars on the road not only give way to traffic woes but also pollutes the environment.
If you and your colleagues live in the same area or even nearby, then hop in one car. You can also divide weeks among each other to decide whose car is used when.
Don’t worry, this will not bruise that ego you are carrying around.
Plant A Tree
The new government kick-started the plantation drive ever since it entered the power corridors. While you may have also taken part in it, it shouldn’t just end there.
If you have an open space in your house, transform it into a garden. The greenery will help you and others breathe in some fresh air. Or take ownership of parks in your vicinity. Help in their maintenance and plantation.
Say No To Plastic
We all know that using plastic is bad, courtesy millions of public service messages. Yet our homes are not plastic free. Of course, that’s probably because plastic costs less but is the price really worth it? Especially if it’s costing our well-being?
Getting rid of all things made of plastic in our homes at once is difficult. So, take small steps towards a plastic-free home. For instance, next time you go shopping carry a tote bag to put all your purchases in.