Tips to Fight Air Pollution in Pakistan

Tips to Fight Air Pollution in Pakistan

According to the University of Chicago, Pakistan is the 4th most polluted country in the world. What does it mean in simple terms? In the most polluted areas, including cities like Lahore, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Peshawar, etc. an average person is living 7 years less than their natural life. 

What would Pakistanis gain if pollution levels are to permanently come down to WHO guidelines?  Consider this – a Lahori would live 5 years more, a Karachite would gain 3.6 years and residents of Islamabad would live 4 more years than what they are now. 

So, how can we do this? The obvious answer is by reducing air pollution. And here are the ways to reduce air pollution both indoors and outdoors, including homes and offices. 

Tips to Fight Air Pollution Indoors

Here are a few effective tips to reduce air pollution in homes, offices and other indoor environments. 

1. HEPA Filters

HEPA stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter.” Many household electrical equipment like vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and air conditioners use HEPA filters. These filters are lab tested and specifically curated to reduce the presence of toxins in the air. 


Theoretically, these filters can remove 99.7% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any airborne particles of size as small as 0.3 microns (µm). An added advantage of using equipment with HEPA filters is that it can trap coronavirus, ensuring the safety of your friends, family and colleagues.

2. Indoor Smoking

Quitting smoking is the best thing that one can do. Avoiding smoking indoors is the second best thing if you are having a hard time quitting smoking. According to the National Library of Medicine, tobacco smoking, pollution from the burning of biomass and passive smoking are significant sources of indoor pollution. 

Passive smoking is proven to be more injurious to the people sitting near the source. According to the World Health Organization( WHO), tobacco results in the death of 7 million people each year. Out of those, 1.2 million deaths are by non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoking. 

All of the above-mentioned sources are risk factors for tuberculosis infection, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and similar chronic lung issues. 

3. Air Purifiers

According to research by WHO in 2012, air pollution resulted in the death of around 7 million people. Imagine the numbers today as air pollution is much worse in 2022.


Research has shown that air purifiers can alter blood chemistry, improving critical organs and overall body health. Air purifiers use multi-filter systems, including prefilter, carbon filter, antibacterial filter and HEPA filter. These combinations of filters result in cleaning and refreshing the stall air so you can breathe in good quality air. 

Read more: Why Selling Air Purifiers in Pakistan Shouldn’t be Preaching to the Converted

4. Minimize the Use of Air Fresheners

In a recent survey, it’s revealed that 20.4% of the population in the US reported health issues when exposed to deodorizers and air fresheners. Air fresheners are associated with high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, benzene, acetaldehyde, xylenes, and toluene in indoor air.


These compounds often result in irritation in the eyes, nose and throat. Not all air fresheners have these compounds. These are primarily found in aroma based air fresheners. Whenever buying air fresheners, have a quick look at the ingredients. 

Note: Prevent the use of liquid air fresheners and pressurized containers near the heat source or on your car’s dashboard. These can burst due to excessive heat inside the cabin. 

Tips to Fight Air Pollution in an Outdoor Environment

While you can control things inside, it is a challenge to do the same out in the open. However, there are still some effective tips to reduce pollution levels when outside. 

1. Plan your commute

The more you drive your car/motorcycle, the more you are adding to air pollution. Therefore plan your commute wisely. 


Before starting your commute, always check for the shortest distance to your destination. Check for the traffic on the route.  

It’s preferable to share a ride or use public transport whenever possible. 

2. Get them done in one go

One of the best ways to reduce air pollution is by running your errands in a single trip. This would be your contribution towards reducing carbon footprint. You would also spend less on fuel, which is extremely expensive these days. 

3. Use HEV or an electric car

The use of hybrid and electric vehicles has surged in recent years. Hybrids were initially bought mainly for their excellent fuel efficiency and then came electric cars. People started buying electric cars because they had become aware that all combustion engine cars, including hybrids, emit pollutants. 


Though hybrids are popular in Pakistan, electric cars aren’t due to their cost. However, as China and other countries start to export cheaper electric cars to Pakistan, our carbon footprint will come down. With the Rinco Aria EV and Nissan Note E, which cost between Rs.2.5 and 3.5 million, the electric car future in Pakistan is bright. 

The government of Pakistan has also installed  EV charging stations on Lahore to Islamabad M2 Motorway. This would go a long way in developing EV charging stations network across the country. 

4. Limit the use of Air Conditioners

Air conditioners require a substantial amount of electrical energy to operate. Outdoors of air conditioners emit immense heat into the environment hence contributing to the rising temperature. The leakage of this refrigerant gas can critically damage the already depleting ozone layer. Remember, extreme weather can negatively impact air quality. 


Some studies have suggested that ACs can contribute as much as 25% to global warming by 2050. Since 64% of the electricity in Pakistan is generated by burning fossil fuels, this is all the more reason to limit the use of electricity and AC usage.

The 5th largest country and the 4th most polluted, Pakistan is facing some serious environmental challenges. To successfully handle this crisis, replying entirely on the government without taking drastic steps on an individual level will be wrong. We as a nation need to start using public transportation, drive EVs, use less ACs, cut down on the use of air fresheners, and start using HEPA air purifiers at home and in offices to live longer and healthier. 

Do you have any other suggestions on how we can reduce air pollution in Pakistan?

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