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‘Children Growing Up In Polluted Environments Are 3 to 4 Times More Likely To Develop Depression’

The Lahore Education and Research Network (LEARN) in association with Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) conducted a session on ‘Combating Toxic Air’ at the Karachi Shahuda Hall of Lahore High Court on Wednesday.

According to a press release, the session was attended by scholars, activists, lawyers, students, environmentalists and the civil society who discussed the need to adopt measures necessary to combat growing rates of air pollution in the country.

‘Combating Toxic Air’ seminar held at Lahore High Court.

LHC judge Justice Jawad Hassan says clean air and water are mankind’s birth right

Justice Jawad Hassan addressed the audience as the Guest of Honour. He spoke about the commitment of the judiciary and specifically the Lahore High Court towards environmental and public interest issues.

He stated how clean air and clean water are mankind’s birth right. ‘The topic concerns the future generations of Pakistan’, he added.

Rafay Alam advises to adopt China’s Vision 2030 to combat Air Pollution

Environmental lawyer and activist Rafay Alam said that Pakistan should adopt China’s Vision 2030 to combat Air Pollution in the country.

Rafay discussed air pollution in its historical context and the lessons learnt that may be adapted in the context of Pakistan.

He went on to say that to tackle the problem, Pakistanis needed to first understand the problem and the root causes. Then, he added, a proper plan was needed to counteract.

Air quality deteriorating due to power production, industry, transport etc: Dawar Butt

Dawar Butt spoke about the importance of understanding air pollution through various means and parameters.

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He shed light upon the various matters and substances that make up air pollution and further elaborated the existence of ‘smog’ or ‘air pollution’ year round.

He said the reason that air quality was deteriorating was due to power production, industry, transport, lack of evaluation of diesel used in Pakistan among other reasons.

‘Children growing up in polluted environments are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop depression’: Daanika Kamal

Citing a study conducted in the UK, lawyer Daanika Kamal highlighted the impact of toxic air on mental health and elaborated the findings of how children growing up in heavily polluted regions were more three to four times more likely to develop depression and other mental illnesses.

She spoke about the impact of pollutant particles in the air crossing into the blood-brain barrier, which in turns leads to the development of depressive symptoms.

Ayesha Raja talks about the use of masks and purifiers

Ms. Aysha Raja spoke about the social impacts and limitations caused by toxic air, specifically on school children.

She said there was a need to raise awareness about measures such as use of masks and air purifiers at school level to prevent drastic impacts of the polluted air. To this end, she asked the government authorities to take adopt relevant policies.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 4 million people die due to air pollution every year around the world.

In Pakistan, approximately 22 percent of deaths each year are caused by air pollution. Pakistan also ranks among countries which have increasing trends in PM2.5 exposure.

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