The Average Life Expectancy is Declining by Five Years due to Air Pollution
Due to air pollution in Bangladesh and other South Asian countries, the average life expectancy is declining from two to five years. This is the Air Quality Life Index data, run by the Institute for Energy Policy (EPIC) at the University of Chicago.
Meanwhile, the country’s Department of Environment officials are worried that as the level of air pollution increases in the coming winter, the risk of corona infection will also increase. If adequate measures do not take now to control the situation, human suffering will exacerbate by air pollution, which has become a deadly killer.
According to the Department of Environment, Brickfields around Dhaka are among the leading causes of air pollution. The brick kilns are usually in full swing every year during the winter season, i.e., from November. And brick production in these goes from May to April. According to the company’s research, brick kilns around the capital are responsible for 50 percent of air pollution.
International Air Pollution Monitoring Agency According to Air Visual, Dhaka topped the air pollution list several times from November last year to March this year. However, due to COVID 19, this level reduced a lot in the middle of the year.
But with the start of normal life, the level of air pollution again reaches alarming levels. In particular, with the ongoing mega projects in the capital, such as Metrorail, Elevated Expressway, BRT, and the construction of large buildings in full swing, the level of air pollution increased again.
According to research, about two and a half billion bricks use for various purposes every year—about 40 percent of its use in government construction. But if eco-friendly blocks can use instead of bricks, the pollution will significantly reduce.
A notification was issued by the government last year to reduce air pollution. It says, in the 2019-20 financial year, all government constructions except highways will have to use eco-friendly blocks that are not burnt instead of burnt bricks.
It is mandatory, and steps by step in 2025 to use blocks in all government works except highways. The level of PM2.5 in the air in Dhaka is eight times the standard set by the World Health Organization and six times higher than the national standard. Even in recent years, the number of deaths due to air pollution in the country has increased.
According to the study, brick kilns are a significant cause of air pollution in Dhaka. Besides, 18 percent of air pollution is due to road dust, 10 percent due to vehicles, and 14 percent from other sources. According to international research, the average life expectancy of people in South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, is declining by two to five years due to air pollution.
Children and the elderly are the biggest victims of air pollution. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, air pollution in Bangladesh accounts for 11 percent of diabetes, 18 percent of lung cancer, 15 percent are responsible for long-term lung disease, 10 percent for heart disease, and 8 percent for stroke.
Doctors say air pollution could make the country’s corona situation more fragile. Patients infected with coronavirus, especially those exposed to air pollution, can become more vulnerable and even die.
Ziaul Haque, Director of the Department of Environment (Air Quality Management), said, “We are working to make the pollution level a little better than last year. Several initiatives have been taken under the Department of Environment to reduce pollution; it has halted due to COVID 19.
Initiatives have taken to demolish illegal brickfields. Last year, about 600 brickfields broke. Hopefully, more kilns will be closed this year. Besides, the High Court had directed to identify the cause of air pollution in Dhaka with a high-powered committee and take necessary steps to stop these sources.
Guidelines have already been formulated in this regard. A high-powered committee has formed with the environment secretary as its chairman. I will try to implement the work of the concerned ministry and others this winter”. He said, ‘I am trying to reduce the dust created by the construction of various infrastructures.
I will try to reduce the black smoke emitted from vehicles. Even the Clean Air Act has become almost final. We will send it to Parliament. I hope this law will pass soon. If this law can implement, the air pollution situation will improve.