The three most important factors of the environment are soil, water and air. Humans, plants and animals all need a healthy environment to survive. Environment gives us energy to live healthy. Disruption of a healthy environment can lead to death of humans and animals. Currently, one of the most discussed issues of the time is air pollution, which is increasing at a large rate in different parts of Bangladesh, including the capital Dhaka.
A major cause of air pollution is waste in the capital. Open wastes are seen on the roads and open burning of garbage including plastics in nature causes air pollution. Air researchers say that most of the garbage lying on the roads consists of plastic, which, due to burning, is adding toxic elements like dioxin, furan, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyl to the air. Apart from this, at least six toxic gases including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide are being produced and the air is being polluted.
Every sphere of society has changed as a result of the development of technology through industrialization. The way of life of people has transformed significantly as a result of industrialization. Developing countries like Bangladesh are not lagging behind in the pace of industrialization. The industrial production system is expanding to meet the rising demand of the growing population. Different types of industries are constantly being established in different places of Bangladesh. Notable industries are tannery and clothing.
On the other hand, due to the development of the architectural industry, various types of construction materials have to be provided for new constructions. Brick and cement are the building materials. Every industry pollutes soil, water, air, rivers and groundwater in different ways. Although the term “industrialization” was first used to describe a socioeconomic process, it is currently utilized interchangeably with the term “environmentalism.” The environment suffers wherever there is industrialization. Various studies by the Center for Atmospheric Pollution Studies (CAPS) show that more than 50 percent of total air pollution caused by industries.
According to statistics gathered from 2013 to 2021, city inhabitants experience daily harm equivalent to that caused to a human body by smoking two cigarettes per day due to air pollution. Children under five years old and people over 60 are more at risk. Apart from this, sneezing-coughing and breathing problems are constantly increasing. Each year, these cause the deaths of about 80,000 people. The annual average GDP loss is almost 4.5 percent overall.
For a number of years, Bangladesh and Dhaka have been listed among the cities with the most polluted air in the world. It is very depressing. Our image of the world as a whole is deteriorating. Due to air pollution, foreigners will be deterred from visiting our country. Less capital will be invested in the country. As a result, the economy will be hampered.
The primary duty of the Department of Environment is to mitigate and prevent air pollution. It is important to take effective measures to reduce air pollution. It requires careful planning and setting specific goals to work toward.
Clean air is a secret weapon in addressing multiple challenges at once, including the climate crisis. Reducing air pollution can increase the average life expectancy of people in the country and protect them from diseases, time will be saved, and GDP will also increase. Taking action to reduce air pollution is an essential measure in addressing the issue of climate change. It is crucial to address air pollution in order to prevent the further escalation of global warming.
There are numerous ways of minimizing air pollution. Private sector/businesses/industries can play a significant role in decreasing air pollution. Businesses should identify the causes of air pollution, create mitigation strategies, and weigh the economic rewards of taking action. They are able to employ clean equipment and premises on a frequent and thorough basis. Check that the business or factory has enough open windows and doors. However, they should keep in mind the effects of air pollution on the larger environment. Recycle the waste or consider selling the waste as raw material to another company.
Government and private initiatives, general public awareness can build a beautiful world free of pollution and hope that our future generations will be residents of that safe world.
The writer is a journalist working with risingbd.com.