One may not see the fine dust floating in the air of Dhaka and other cities of the country, but, undetectable, these micro-particles do utmost harm to human organs. Dust enters human body through mouth, eyes, skin and nostrils and the micro-organisms do their damaging works in various ways. The common complaints are recurring cough, chest infection, low fever, irritation of the eyes and nostrils and so on. Public health experts say that dust contains small particles, contaminated with germs and chemical materials that enter the lung and make serious reparatory problems. This causes diseases like asthma, tuberculosis, influenza, lung cancer, and many other types of breathing problems.
Dust pollution has turned into a major public health concern in the capital and because of construction work going on all the year round there is no sign of the situation improving any time soon. Health experts warn of long-term respiratory diseases as well as serious health problems due to dust pollution unless city environment is made cleaner.
It is disconcerting to learn from a World Health Organisation (WHO) report that Dhaka’s air quality has been ranked as third most polluted in the world. In 2016, the WHO also reported that over 37,000 Bangladeshis die annually from diseases related to air pollution. It is further disturbing to note that another report conducted by 1800 scientists of different universities of USA revealed that Bangladeshi people lose about 2 years of average lifespan due to air pollution.
In view of the worsening situation of dust pollution, experts of Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) suggest taking both governmental and personal initiative to minimise dust pollution. They also advised using musk, spraying water in the dust polluted areas, covering construction site, and locating brick fields far away from the capital city.
Dust pollution takes a serious turn during the dry seasons (winter) every year that seriously affects public health. Departments concerned must play their role accordingly to control unusual growth of dust as well as other air pollution factors.