Real estate, particularly construction activities in Pakistan, has witnessed significant growth in recent years, contributing to the country’s economic development. However, this growth has come at a cost, with adverse effects on air quality. In this article, we will explore how real estate activities are causing air pollution and provide suggestions on how to mitigate their environmental impact.
Which Real Estate Activities Are Causing Air Pollution?
Some real estate activities have been linked to increasing air pollution nationwide. Here is a list of the few real estate activities are causing air pollution:
Dust Emissions from Excavation and Transportation
The excavation and transportation of soil during construction release fine dust particles into the atmosphere. When inhaled by individuals, these particles, often invisible to the naked eye, can exacerbate respiratory problems, including asthma and bronchitis.
Emissions from Heavy Machinery
The use of heavy machinery in construction operations releases harmful emissions, such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, into the air. These emissions contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain, leading to further air pollution.
Burning Construction Waste
The practice of burning construction waste is a common method of disposal in Pakistan. However, this process releases harmful pollutants, including particulate matter and heavy metals, into the air, posing a significant threat to public health.
Generators are widely used in construction sites, especially in areas with unreliable power sources. However, when not properly maintained, generators can emit high levels of pollutants, adding to the overall air pollution burden.
Impact of Real Estate Activities on Air Pollution
According to a study by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), construction activities are responsible for 10% of the country’s air pollution. The study further revealed that urban areas with high construction activity exhibited considerably higher air pollution levels compared to regions with less construction activity.
Some Examples of Air Pollution from Real Estate and Construction Activities
The real estate activities are causing air pollution in the following major cities, and this is an alarming situation which needs to be addressed.
The construction of the new Islamabad International Airport has been linked to a substantial increase in air pollution levels, affecting the capital city.
The construction of high-rise buildings in Karachi has been associated with a rise in asthma cases, particularly among children, due to the increased release of pollutants into the air.
The construction of a new metro line in Lahore has brought about elevated levels of dust and noise pollution, posing risks to the health and well-being of local residents.
How to Mitigate Air Pollution?
While the Pak-EPA has taken steps to address air pollution caused by construction activities by implementing regulations that require the use of dust control measures and proper disposal of construction waste, more can be done to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry.
Here are some suggested measures:
- Use Cleaner Fuels and Technologies: Construction companies should adopt cleaner fuel options such as biodiesel and electric generators. Employing technologies like dust control equipment and water sprinklers can significantly reduce emissions from construction sites.
- Recycle and Reuse Construction Materials: Encouraging the recycling and reuse of construction materials can help reduce the volume of waste generated during construction, thereby lowering the environmental footprint.
- Plant Trees and Vegetation: The strategic planting of trees and vegetation in and around construction sites can act as natural filters, helping to absorb and remove pollutants from the air.
- Public Awareness: Educating the public about the dangers of air pollution is crucial. Raising awareness of the problem can lead to greater individual and community efforts to reduce exposure to air pollution.
The Bottom Line
Real estate and construction activities are vital for Pakistan’s growth, but their impact on air quality cannot be ignored. To safeguard public health and the environment, it is essential to take proactive measures to mitigate air pollution caused by these activities.
By adopting cleaner technologies, recycling materials, planting greenery, and fostering public awareness, Pakistan can pave the way for a cleaner and healthier future.
What are the causes of air pollution due to construction activities?
Some of the causes of air pollution due to construction activities are dust emissions from vehicles and heavy machinery and burning of construction waste.
How do buildings affect air pollution?
Buildings release carbon dioxide directly when they use equipment that relies on combustion, leading to air pollution.
What is the real cause of air pollution?
Vehicle emissions, burning construction waste, by-products of manufacturing and power generation are the primary sources of air pollution
Can buildings cause pollution?
Buildings release many harmful pollutants , such as carbon dioxide, causing air pollution.
How to mitigate air pollution?
Planting trees, increasing public awareness, and recycling construction materials are some of the ways to mitigate air pollution.