Air pollution and smog has been a serious public health concern in Lahore for the last few years. And while the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) has been setting new records of deterioration each year, consequent governments have failed to take tangible steps to improve the situation.
After mounting pressure from the public to declare a Public Health Emergency in Lahore, the government recently issued a statement banning outdoor activities, including sports for school children till 20th December.
The notification also directed school authorities to ensure that every student wore a mask while at school.
Schools have also been asked to hold awareness sessions for students.
Murad Raas, Provincial Minister of Punjab for School Education posted the notification on Twitter.
As reported by the US Consulate, AQI of Lahore has reached hazardous levels.
Air pollution nanoparticles” (UFPs) can cause brain cancer
According to The Guardian, a new research report has found that “air pollution nanoparticles” (UFPs) can cause brain cancer. These particles are produced mainly by fuel burning and particularly by diesel vehicles.
The link between UFPs and brain cancer has been found for the first time in a research led by Scott Weichenthal, at McGill University in Canada.
“Environmental risks like air pollution are not large in magnitude – their importance comes because everyone in the population is exposed. So when you multiply these small risks by lots of people, all of a sudden there can be lots of cases. In a large city, it could be a meaningful number, particularly given the fact that these tumours are often fatal.”– Scott Weichenthal
Can Lahore smog trigger increased cases of brain cancer in the provincial capital?
As concluded from the study, high exposure to air pollution increases the risk of brain cancer and regrettably Lahoris have been exposed to air pollution for an awfully long period of time.
This then raises valid concerns for the citizens of Lahore. Brain cancer might just be one of the many serious ailments that exposure to such high levels of carcinogens can cause.
Brain Cancer or not, Lahore smog must be dealt with!
The government must now move beyond half-baked, ad-hoc measures and roll-out a comprehensive strategy aimed at not merely curtailing the adverse impact of smog but more importantly, nipping the root causes of air-pollution (e.g. burning of crops and garbage and vehicle emissions) in the bud.
Stay safe Lahore!
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