Human beings cannot survive without oxygen but when the very air we breathe becomes toxic for us, our survival becomes difficult. The situation of air pollution is increasingly deteriorating in Dhaka due to things such as sulphur emission from unregulated vehicle emission and brick kilns along with dust from construction works. The rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) arising from air pollution is also increasing at an alarming rate and the poor air quality affecting at least 40 percent of Dhaka’s residents.
There are approximately seven million asthma patients in Bangladesh according to UNICEF and the number is increasing. Pregnant mothers, children and the elderly are at greater risks of being affected by air pollution. Human lungs are not capable of filtering every particulate or toxic matters so when the air falls on quality, the lungs develop diseases such as asthma and lung cancer. Fine particles in air can also increase the risk of pulmonary tuberculosis and cardiovascular diseases.
The thousands of brick kilns which are in and around Dhaka city have little or no method for safe release of the smoke and no environmental regulations are maintained. As a result, the ecosystem surrounding the brick kiln areas are also being damaged by the pollutant release.
The authorities have to consider the current as well as the long-term sufferings of Dhaka citizens and take higher, more concrete measures to combat air pollution. The brick kilns and construction sites should be fined if they do not rid of their by products such as dust and smoke in a proper way. As conscious citizens we should always wear masks when we go out, avoid dust and smoke, quit the unhealthy habit smoking and use green methods for indoor cooking.