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Editorial: The worst air pollution

The Afghan capital with an estimated six million population is facing the worst air pollution this year. Common causes of pollution include low-quality fuel, inefficient vehicles, and the burning of tires, rubber, plastic and coal. For many Afghans, it is potent silent killer. Estimates by independent researchers about the number of deaths, though, are shocking. A former Afghan public health worker, based in the UK, said that 30,000 people died due to conditions linked to air pollution last year alone. Others say it is even higher. This kills more Afghans than terrorist attacks across the country. To curb the threat, the Kabul residents must have considered wearing facemask and washing their hands regularly. But this could be one time solution, which is not possible for all citizens to do so. This issue must be dealt sufficiently and one for all. The parliament should summon officials to explain what was being done to reduce air pollution, and why they did not take precautionary measures in regards. The environment authority should have come up to the fore with clear actions, and how can they justify this ongoing situation to the people. It is a fact that air pollution in Kabul is on the rise. The relevant authorities must plan to acquire better pollution-testing facilitates. The worst thing is that an assessment by Air Visual, a US and Swiss-based software company measuring air pollution, indicates that the air quality in Kabul has reached a “hazardous” level, and this has put the city at the top of the world’s “most polluted cities” list. According to Air Visual, air pollution levels in some parts of the city have risen to a standard of 247 micrograms per cubic meter. Air pollution is the world’s fourth leading contributing cause of premature deaths, killing more than 7 million people annually. While its impact on everyday lives may not always be apparent, the global economy silently suffers an estimated 225 billion dollars annually from lost labor. Urgent actions are required to help reduce air pollution in Kabul, one of the most polluted cities in the world, and restore various air parameters to levels safe for the health of its citizens. In addition to worsening the symptoms of asthma and other chronic respiratory problems, indoor air pollution is another worse that can cause irritation of the nose, throat, eyes and lungs. Unfortunately, the air that we breathe today is full of toxic and hazardous pollutants. Pollution in the environment could leave mother Earth sapped of its beauty and biodiversity. Each year millions of people die all around the world due to different pollution related problems. The key to live a healthy life is to identify the sources of air pollution and implement practical ways to help stop air pollution, which is possible with tangible efforts of the relevant authorities.

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