There is a life threatening poison floating in the air of Dhaka. And unknowingly we are destroying our lungs by inhaling it on a daily basis. With the advent of winter, the situation of dust pollution in Dhaka is getting worse. Though we cannot see it with our naked eyes, but fine dust is swirling everywhere because of the frenzy of construction going on in the capital. Air pollution is the prime reason for increase in dust allergic reactions like coughing, sneezing, chest pain, running nose, itching of eyes etc. The respiratory tract infections can turn worse if not treated early on. Children and elderly people suffer most during winter for dust pollution.
Media reports suggest that air quality in the following areas: Mirpur, Bhasantek, Gulshan, Bashundhara Residential, Rampura, Moddho Badda, Mouchak, Malibagh, Moghbazar, Jatrabari, is much worse than other areas. Experts blame development works like construction of high-rises, roads, bridges, markets, schools, residential quarters, and digging of roads for installing pipe-lines contribute to huge amount of dust, cement and sand particles getting released in air.
According to a WHO report, over 37,000 Bangladeshis die annually from diseases related to air pollution. Lung specialists warn that dust pollution is making Dhaka hazardous, particularly for children and the elderly. Unfortunately, in terms of air quality, Dhaka is one of the most polluted cities in the world. The number of patients suffering from respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, lung cancer, asthma, and lower respiratory tract infections has been on the rise in Dhaka because of dust pollution.
It is said that long term exposure to dust pollution provoke lung cancer and development or progression of chronic illness. Doctors suggest that people should wear mask when travelling outside to stay safe from dust pollution.
Considering the situation, it is high time to integrate quick measures to check pollution from building construction, brick kilns, and car emissions. Also necessary laws should be implemented to compel the builders and constructors and workers to build roads and buildings following rules and regulations. Authorities concerned, including the Department of Environment (DoE), should take immediate actions and strengthen its monitoring system in order to reduce dust pollution in the capital.