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.
The National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) has said that air pollution in Kabul increases during the night and in the morning.
“The devices that have been installed by the US embassy in Wazir Akbar Khan area also show that yesterday the level of air pollution was the worst in recent years,” said Ezatullah Sediqqi, the deputy head of NEPA.
“The government should take preemptive measures in the short and long term,” added Sediqqi.
Based on the NEPA standards, air pollution shouldn’t exceed 75 micrograms in one cubic meter, but in the past few days, the level of air pollution has been at least three times as much as this.
According to Air Visual, air pollution levels in some parts of the city have risen to a standard of 247 micrograms per cubic meter.
Residents in Kabul city have asked the government and other relevant bodies to take steps towards reducing air pollution in the city.
“The environmental protection agency should focus on the air pollution, many people are falling ill due to this,” said Burhanuddin, a resident in Kabul.
“The air becomes very polluted during the nights; it’s even hard to come out during the nights,” said Soroush Ahmadi, a resident in Kabul.
“There is pollution during the winter,” said Saadudin Zubair, air pollution expert.
According to the software company Air Visual, 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.