Islamabad                  -              The federal capital’s air quality has improved as the large bus fleets of schools, colleges and universities disappeared after government instructions to shut down educational institutions after COVID-19 outbreak fear.

Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official told APP on Wednesday that the hazardous air pollutants causing detrimental impacts on human health were recorded within permissible limits of National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS).

She said the air pollution was mainly due to increased vehicular emissions in the federal capital as it had observed a serious increase in the number of automobiles for the past few years.

The particulate matter of 2.5 microns size (PM2.5) that was responsible for respiratory diseases and serious health complications was recorded 35 microgrammes per meter cube which was equal to the NEQS value, she added.

However, PM2.5 was above the World Health Organization (WHO) 24 hours mean of 20 microgrammes per meter cube.

World Health Organization (WHO) in its reports had claimed air pollution to cause huge number of premature deaths. PM 2.5 had been found hazardous pollutant which could penetrate into human blood through lungs cells.

According to the daily ambient air quality report of the federal capital by EPA, the 24 hours average ratio of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Sulphur dioxide (SO2) were 18.54 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m³) and 23.2 mg/m³ respectively against the respective National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) of 80 mg/m³ and 120mg/m³.

The data was recorded by calibrated air quality monitors fixed at particular positions with proper readings.

However, concentrations of PM2.5 during the evening times were recorded slightly high, whereas, the overall ambient air quality of the federal capital was moderate today.

Any other data from any source presenting ambient air quality of Islamabad was neither verified nor approved by the EPA, the report said.