ISLAMABAD         -      The air quality in the federal capital on Tuesday was unhealthy for sensitive groups as the ambient pollutants were above the permissible limits.

According to Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) daily air quality report, the hazardous environmental pollutant of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) was above the permissible limits of National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS).

The PM2.5 ratio in air was recorded 39.33 microgrammes per meter cube (ug/m3) whereas the NEQS allows 35ug/m3 presence in the atmosphere. However, PM2.5 was also above the World Health Organization (WHO) 24-hour mean of 20 micrograms per meter cube. The people with respiratory, heart disease and children were the sensitive groups most at risk during such level of pollution in the ambience.

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 Pakistan-EPA, the 24-hour average ratio of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) were 28.3 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m³) and 30.5 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.