Tuesday, December 11, 2018 | ePaper

Dangers of environment pollution

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Rayhan Ahmed Topader :
The air quality in Bangladesh has been declining over the years at an alarming rate. It worsens significantly during the winter in Dhaka. So much so, that five among the top 10 causes of death in Bangladesh is related to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization. The government has identified brick kilns, construction works as well as vehicles run by fuels with high levels of sulfur as the major sources of air pollution. Dhaka topped the list of US Air Quality Index (AQI) for having the worst air pollution in the world. Data obtained from smartphone application AirVisual shows the user real-time air pollution index of any city across the globe. A real-time map of the US AQI, found on web portals aqicn.org and waqi.info, also supported the data found in the application.The index terms the air quality of Dhaka extremely unhealthy, as the city consistently ranks between 301 and 500. There is no denying that the quality of Dhaka's air is quite terrible," At least a thousand brick kilns operate in and around the city during winter. It is one of the reasons behind the bad air quality here, The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the AQI to report air quality. This AQI is divided into six categories, indicating increasing levels of health concern. An AQI value of over 300 represents hazardous air quality and below 50 indicates that the air is good. The index is based on five criteria pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
Last year, a study report of World Health Organization claims that although particulate pollution levels are quite high in the capital, it is 44th among the cities it monitors, in terms of fine particle (PM2.5) pollution. In terms of PM10, or coarse dust pollution, it ranks 71st.
The increases of fossil fuel, growth of population and the excessive amount of environmental pollution have turned the world into an inhabitable place. In the consequences of these alarming situations environmental movement has been started throughout the world. The environment movement has been started centering how the earth can be saved from the environment pollution. The several environment experts have led and is continuously leading to this movement in diversified ways like Rachol Luis Carson,at the end of 1950, wrote a book named "Silent Spring" showing the environmental destructive role of the insecticides and this helped to raise the consciousness of the American mass on the environmental issues and accelerated the environment movement.In 1998 they founded an organization named Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN). In the January of 2000 an international conference on the environment of Bangladesh (ICBEN) was organized with the initiative of the PRS, BEN and other environmental organizations.The aim of this conference was to unite all the environmental working organizations.
The environment has been wielding the whole world life and its ecosystem from the time immemorial. Untoward environment destroys the living world. On the other hand, the utile environment ameliorates the community and civilization. From the primitive era the human being have been competiting with the environmental setbacks for their survival and in this way, to march forward. That's why; a world watchword has been lilting that there is no substitute to the patronage of the environmental equipoise.
From an occult espial it becomes clear that various natural disasters are continuously increasing due to the environmental imbalances. Bangladesh is not out of this misfortune rather her circs is more minatory. The rate of forest land is only 6% where 25% forest land is necessary for the environmental balance of a country. The rate of environment pollution is also high and as a result, various problems related to environmental imbalance are increasing day by day in Bangladesh. So, we need a strong and wide spread environment movement. The environment movement was hatched in the decenniad of 80 in Bangladesh. This has got momentum in the decade of 90. Many environment pioneers were united under the organization ParibashRakkhaShopoth (PRS). The people of Bangladesh living in the abroad have also united to protect the environment This case has played a significant role in the further flourishment of environment vibrancy.
Subsequently in different cases the right to a pollution free environment has been declared as a fundamental right. In this way, the environmental vibrancy has got more impetus through the movements like Save Environment Save Rivers, and Work for Better Bangladesh. Some positive initiatives have been taken up to now with the hard efforts of the environmental organizations and members of the civil society. Introduction of the lead free gasoline, banning of two strokes vehicles and polythene products, passing of the water reservoirs protection Act and Brick lin Establishment Act , formation of  commission on rivers are the results of some successful attempts of the environment movement.In 2010 in the third galaxy of ICBEN the environment sibbed program The Calling for Dhaka-2010 was sheltered. In this proclamation an analysis of all the basic reasons of the environmental problems and recommendations on how to solve those were prepared. The government and the administration have to play the key role in the decision making processes.
So the program was held to influence the governmental environmental policies. Besides in order to inspire the people from all the sections different political parties, professionals, social, cultural and sport organizations were summoned to be connected with this vital movement. Lately, we have eyed the vigorous role of different environmental pressure groups like National Oil, Gas and Electricity Protection Committee, National Sundarbans Protection Committee and other collateral bodies against the Rampal issue.
These organizations have drawn up the bad consequences of the establishment of the Rampal Electric Plant at a place nearly 14 kilometers away (within the environmental critical zone) from the Sundarbans, the World largest mangrove forest. They are trying to influence the government to change their decision. They have conducted various researches and experiments on the compatibility of establishing of such a big electric plant near a world heritage and found that if this project is implemented then the whole bio diversities, rivers and the unique features of the mangrove forest will be vanished with the passage of time and our overall environmental harmony will be spoiled.
Though there has been an incessant assiduity to carry on the environment movement the environmental degradation of the country is not emasculating at a satisfactory rate. The water pollution and grabbing of water land are not stopped and thus the marshy lands are dying gradually. Industrial pollution, air pollution and sound pollution are increasing.
According to the draft roadmap, import of diesel containing over 500ppm sulfur content will not be allowed from this year and the imported fuel will go through the distribution network without blending. In addition, the import of diesel with 350ppm or less sulfur content will only be allowed from 2020. The ceiling of 50ppm sulfur content for imported diesel will go into effect by 2023.
Currently, the upper limit of sulfur content in diesel fuel in Bangladesh is 2500ppm.High sulfur content in diesel is partly responsible for particulate matter which is a major pollutant from diesel vehicles. According to WHO, PM10 and PM2.5 can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs. Chronic exposure to particles contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as lung cancer. Among the top 10 causes of death in Bangladesh, five of them-lung cancer, lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease, and stroke-are related to air pollution. According to the National Institute of Diseases of Chest and Hospital (NIDCH), nearly seven million people in Bangladesh suffer from asthma-over half of them children.

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