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Air pollution occurs when harmful substances are introduced into Earth’s atmosphere. Air pollution refers to the contamination of the air, regardless of indoors or outdoors. A physical, biological, or chemical alteration to the air in the atmosphere can be termed as pollution. Pakistan is the most polluted country in the world by particulate matter concentration.
Air pollution is an emerging environmental issue in the big cities of Pakistan. Dust and smoke particles in Pakistan are generally twice the world average and five times higher than the developed world. Though some of the pollution comes from natural sources, most is the result of human activities. One of the most serious issues relating to air pollution in Pakistan is the presence of excessive suspended particulate matter (SPM). Suspended particulate matter are finely divided solids or liquids that may be dispersed through the air from combustion processes, industrial activities, or natural sources. Particulate matter is often divided into two main groups based on their size. Inhalable coarse particles, which are found near roadways and dusty industries. And fine particles, which are found in smoke and haze. Particulate matter has many causes, these causes can be both natural and man-made. Such as, brick kilns, dust storms, construction, and burning of solid waste.
Another key factor producing air pollution in Pakistan is the growing rate of urbanization. Urbanization refers to the population shift from rural to urban areas, and the ways in which each society adapts to the change. Due to people migrating to cities, the growth of infrastructure and road transport is contributing to greater pollution in the air. Another result of urbanization, is that trees are cut down on a large scale without any adequate efforts to plant new ones. This leads to deforestation, which also helps cause a rise in atmospheric pollution levels; this is done to make way for factories. Factories not only increase the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but they also emit substances that do not directly contribute to poor air quality, but combine with other elements to create air pollutants. Due to urbanization in Pakistan, industry around the suburbs of major cities has increased significantly. This includes brick manufacturing and methane produced by the decomposition of municipal and industrial waste.
Other major causes of air pollution in Pakistan are fossil fuel-burning power stations and cars. Combined, these two sources are responsible for almost ninety percent of all air pollution.
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