Air pollution is nothing short of a public health hazard
It is no secret that Dhaka has a very serious air pollution problem, and a new study confirms what we already know, classifying the capital air as unhealthy, and ranking it the fourth most polluted city in the world.
Sadly, government policy is yet to fully address the problem with the attention that it deserves -- among the top 10 causes of death in the country, five of them -- lung cancer, lower respiratory tract infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease, and strokes -- all have strong correlation to air pollution.
Air pollution, then, is nothing short of a public health hazard, and yet, in spite of promises and pledges, little seems to ever get done to clean up the air we breathe every day.
The latest draft of the Clean Air Act 2019 is a worthy initiative, one that takes a hard line against pollution; we hope that stance will translate into action, and hold polluters accountable.
The biggest culprits when it comes to polluting the air are brick kilns, vehicular emissions, and construction work. While in the dry season there is a spike in pollution levels, along with health problems in urban areas.
Brick kilns, which contribute to over 58% of the air pollution in Dhaka, should not be allowed to pollute with impunity. In the longer term, it is imperative that we seek cleaner and greener methods of production.
As air is something every single person needs, it is hard to think of a more precious commodity; it is a shame that we have treated ours with such reckless disregard.