Air quality in Quetta

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Quetta

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Weather

What is the current weather in Quetta?

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WeatherScattered clouds
Temperature91.4°F
Humidity11%
Wind18.2 mp/h
Pressure29.6 Hg

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Real-time Pakistan city ranking

#cityUS AQI
1The national flag of Thailand Karachi, Sindh

82

2The national flag of Thailand Islamabad, Islamabad

77

3The national flag of Thailand Rawalpindi, Punjab

71

4The national flag of Thailand Lahore, Punjab

70

5The national flag of Thailand Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

66

6The national flag of Thailand Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

62

(local time)

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90*

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Moderate

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Overview

What is the current air quality in Quetta?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Moderate 90* US AQIPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
30.2*µg/m³
!

PM2.5

x6

PM2.5 concentration in Quetta is currently 6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

What is the current air quality in Quetta?

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Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise
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Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air
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Sensitive groups should wear a mask outdoors
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Forecast

Quetta air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Today

Moderate 90 AQI US

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Weather icon
93.2° 73.4°
Wind rotating 287 degree 20.1 mp/h
Tuesday, Jun 18

Unhealthy for sensitive groups 118 AQI US

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Weather icon
91.4° 73.4°
Wind rotating 266 degree 11.2 mp/h
Wednesday, Jun 19

Moderate 94 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
95° 71.6°
Wind rotating 283 degree 11.2 mp/h
Thursday, Jun 20

Unhealthy for sensitive groups 111 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
95° 75.2°
Wind rotating 264 degree 6.7 mp/h
Friday, Jun 21

Unhealthy for sensitive groups 139 AQI US

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Weather icon 70%
89.6° 73.4°
Wind rotating 176 degree 11.2 mp/h
Saturday, Jun 22

Unhealthy 159 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
91.4° 71.6°
Wind rotating 131 degree 6.7 mp/h
Sunday, Jun 23

Unhealthy 160 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
93.2° 75.2°
Wind rotating 252 degree 4.5 mp/h

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AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Quetta

What is the air quality index of Quetta?

Quetta, which was formerly called Shalkot is the provincial capital and largest city of the Province of Balochistan in Pakistan. It has an estimated population of just over 1 million people in a census conducted in 2017. The city is very close to the international border with Afghanistan as it is close to the Bolan Pass which has long been a major trade route in that part of the world.

In early 2021, Quetta was experiencing “Moderate” air quality with a recorded figure of 99. This classification follows the guidelines laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The recorded level of PM2.5 was 35.2 µg/m³ so it was advisable to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of dirty air and unnecessary outdoor exercise should be avoided until the quality improves.

What is the main source of air pollution in Quetta?

Due to the growing population in Quetta, besides dust, citizens are being severely affected by noise, smoke from old vehicles, stone/rock crushing plants and brick kilns. It is estimated that there are about 30 crushing plants in Quetta.

The source of smog in Pakistan and especially in Punjab comes from transport which is responsible for an estimated 43 per cent, industries 25 per cent and agriculture 20 per cent. The reasons for this are car smoke, poor quality fuel, weak transport engines, industrial pollution, burning of municipal and industrial waste, especially in brick kilns, burning of rubber and tires and mobile oil are important. Coal and oil-fired plants also play a role. These are all factors that need to be addressed throughout the year and before smog spreads. Substandard petrol and diesel are often used as fuel. The standard grade is often mixed with cheaper hydrocarbons which extend the volume for very little cost.

Then there is the issue of faulty vehicles and buses, which get "fitness certificates" without a real inspection. Finally, there is the pollution from industry, especially coal-fired power stations. In countries such as Pakistan, the emissions from their chimneys are not subject to the stringent tests that are placed on such installations in other countries.

What is the air pollution level in Quetta?

Many of the major cities in Pakistan suffer from very poor quality air. Some is due to the topographic location of the city whilst others are due to the increasing number of old, polluting vehicles found on Pakistan’s roads. Older vehicles do not have the same technology as newer ones and lack the filtration systems which remove some of the emissions.

The top four dirtiest cities in Pakistan experience two months of the year where the air quality is classed as “Very Unhealthy” with PM2.5 figures between 150.5 and 250.4 µg/m³. On average these cities show an annual figure of between 55.5 and 150.4 µg/m³ which puts them in the “Unhealthy” class.

Is air pollution in Quetta getting better or worse?

Quetta is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Less rainfall last year led to an increase in drought, while air pollution also increased, due to the city's growing population and increased traffic on the roads. Pollution is increasing day by day. Traffic officers on duty on roads and intersections are also badly affected by the dust. Environmental Protection Agency officials say Quetta is experiencing rapid climate change, which is extremely dangerous.

Pollution peaks every autumn and winter, partly due to the burning of crop residues, which combine to form a toxic compound with smoke from industries and vehicles and from brick kilns. That is why these days the cities of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan have become the most polluted cities in the world, leaving behind China. Breathing in this toxic atmosphere kills millions of people in the region and life expectancy in these countries has dropped by five years and in the most polluted cities of northern India by eight years.

What can be done to improve the air quality in Quetta?

Owing to a large number of crushing plants set up in and around the city, local authorities have made the decision to relocate these facilities to an out-of-town location in order to improve air quality. These mines and rock processing facilities were once controlled by the Department of Mines, however, they are now under the control of the Environment Department.

Operators of brick kilns are being asked to convert to the “zig-zag” system as this method reduces smoke emissions and is, therefore, more environmentally friendly.

What are the effects of breathing Quetta’s poor quality air?

Asthma and chest diseases are on the rise in Quetta due to air pollution. Most of the patients in the OPD of Fatima Jinnah TB and Chest Hospital in the city are suffering from chest diseases. A spokesman from the Fatima Jinnah TB and Chest Hospital said that dust is one of the major causes of chest diseases in the city, due to which most patients complain of shortness of breath. He said that due to the dust in the city, young people are also coming now, who are facing respiratory problems. Patients are encouraged to wear masks so they can stay safe. A laboratory has also been set up in the office of the Environment Department to analyse the causes of air pollution, where laboratory tests are carried out after monitoring in different areas.

Regular work has started to check air pollution for which they have installed monitoring stations at various places in the city.

Much is known about the negative effects of air pollution on human health. We know that increased air pollution leads to diseases such as respiratory infections, heart disease, heart attack and lung cancer, as well as memory impairment and Alzheimer's. But now evidence is beginning to emerge that air pollution not only harms health but also affects our character too.

Scientific research has now shown that air pollution is reducing human life expectancy. According to research, air pollution is shortening our lives by an average of 2.9 years. This rate is twice as high as before and even higher than smoking. A report claims that the average age reduction due to pollution is 10 times higher than expected due to all forms of violence and war.

Where is the cleanest air quality in Quetta?

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