Sunday, October 20, 2019 | ePaper

Breathing the worst air in Dhaka

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THE Air Quality Index (AQI) on Thursday morning showed that Dhaka's air quality was the second-worst in the world. Dhaka had a score of 190 at 8:21am, indicating that the quality was unhealthy. When the AQI value is between 101 and 200, there is an increased likelihood of adverse effects and aggravation to the heart and lungs among general public, particularly for sensitive groups. The presence of heavy metal in the air poses danger for public health and healthy growing up of kids. The government has taken very few steps to upgrade the air quality that leads vested quarters to erect brick kilns outskirts of the city in all direction, while development works like road and building construction works made the air quality worst.
The index for reporting daily air quality informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them. The big picture of the effect of air pollution shows natural disasters like floods, cyclones, storms, sea-level surges, riverbank erosion, earthquakes, intermittent droughts, salinity intrusion, and frequent thunderstorms and hailstorms. The air pollution not only fuels climate change but is also a major threat to human health. It is one of the major environmental concerns in Bangladesh due to our inadequate and dysfunctional disposal sites that create acute health problems. The continuous inhalation of heavy metals consisting of dust, fumes, mist, and smoke cause long-term health problems such as chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. Repeated exposure to air pollution affects children's lungs and can worsen or complicate medical conditions in the elderly.
A study said nearly seven million people in Bangladesh suffer from asthma -- over half of them children. However, the big questions are: How can we curb air pollution? What are the causes of pollution? Who is responsible for such pollution? How are we responsible for this? Our reckless attitude and irresponsibility are the prime causes behind the worst air quality in the heart of the green delta. The government focus on development would be futile if people unable to breathe.

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