STAFF REPORT IBD: Pakistans first ever project to measure mercury pollution in the air has recently been launched in the city.

The collaborative project started by SDPI, European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG), is an attempt to identify and monitor mercury emission and release sites in various cities of Pakistan and assess their air quality to protect environment and human health.

As part of commencement activities, the teams of SDPI monitors have been trained on Lumex Mercury Analyzer and other specialized field instruments to accurately collect and note measurements.

The project was formally launched by SDPIs Executive Director, Dr. Abid Qayyum and Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Vaqar Ahmad. Main feature of the launch was a demo measurement of mercury pollution at SDPI office.

The team took indoor and outdoor air samples along with other climatic parameters such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction.

The project has garnered widespread support across the country where Ministry of Disaster Management, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak – EPA) and Institute of Chemical Sciences, Peshawar University, Khyber PakhtunKhawa had already extended their support for the study.

The results showed mercury level to be between 10.44 – 10.89 (n=9) nano gram per cubic meter of the air. These levels are considered safe, and are far below than the permissible limit (2000 ng/M3) for safe occupational health and safety.

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