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Rising pollution: Kabul residents advised to wear masks

Rising pollution: Kabul residents advised to wear masks

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Dec 25, 2018 - 14:35

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The National Environmentinfo-icon Protection Agency (NEPA) wants citizens to use facemasks in increased pollution with the onset of winter.

Mohammad Kazim Homayoon, planning manager at NEPA, told Pajhwok Afghan News lack of proper home-heating facilities, uncontrolled use of smoky fuels, raw coal, low-quality fuel, rubbers and plastics were major causes of pollution.

Humayoon said Kabul -- surrounded by high mountains -- did not receive enough sunlight. The capital’s location impedes wind’s direction and causes air pollution in the city.

The use of run-of-the-mine coal is the greatest pollutant, according to the official, who said NEPA had carried out an investigation into corrosive particles in Kabul -- more than 300 microns. Serious measures are needed to prevent the burning of coal.

“Zero to 10 Microns in a cubic metre shows completely clean air. Fifty to 100 mean half-clean air The current level (300) in Kabul City which is half-healthy and harmful for healthinfo-icon,” he informed.

He noted these measures should be taken by NEPA, Minister of Public Health and Minister of Interior, when the suspended particles were rising from 300 microns, then serious steps must be taken in this regard.

Homayoon asked the people suffering from respiratory problems, including elderly men, pregnant womeninfo-icon and youth with low hemoglobin count either to avoid going outside or wear facemasks.

He informed pollutants included carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide that led to mental retardation, abortion sand loss of hearing in children.

Syed Ehsan Adeli, doctor at a private hospital in Kabul, told Pajhwok seasonal diseases occurred all over the worldinfo-icon, but air pollution damaged respiratory system, causing citizens to suffer from chest, ear and throat pains. He also advised the use of masks.

Haroon Ayubi, a dweller of the capital, called rising air pollution a grave concern for families, if the pollution level was not brought down soon, he warned, the city would become dirtier.

He acknowledged: “These days, the air pollution level is alarmingly high, but the government is not paying attention to the issue.” Non-standard heating systems had been activated in high-rise housing projects in the capital, he noted.

Abdul Baqi, a resident of Baghlan province who sells untreated coal in Khair Khana, said he brought coal from the Dara-i-Sauf district of Samangan province to Kabul.

People were not resourceful enough to buy clean energy sources, he argued, urging the government to provide better living conditions for citizens.

Sa

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