Air pollution, a main cause of death in Bangladesh


Act immediately to contain air pollution. Prothom Alo File PhotoThe country’s air and water both have been seriously contaminated. Two international research findings have also indicated that things will get worse in the future.

US-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) and The Institute for Health Matrix and Evaluation (IHME) recently published their reports based on information of 2017.

According to the reports, air pollution is the third biggest cause of death in Bangladesh. The average life expectancy of people is declining due to this pollution.

Australia-based research organisation Market Force and US-based organisation in a joint research said Bangladesh will be a victim of explosion of ‘carbon bomb’ if 30 coal-based power plants go into operation by 2031.

According to HEI and IHME, air pollution is worsening due to unplanned industrialisation, brick kilns and construction.
The most harmful element for human body is PM 2.5. According to WHO, the permissible level for PM in per cubic meter air is 10 micrograms of PM 2.5. But in our country, it is 61 micrograms, which is resulting in more and more people getting attacked by cancer and kidney diseases.

The World Bank had previously warned us that the whole country was under a big pollution threat. Instead of trying to solve the problem, the government is piling more misery on us, undertaking more and more power plant projects.

The only coal fired power plant in Dinajpur’s Barapukuria generates 525 MW electricity but the project’s wastes have contaminated the water of the nearby rivers.

A new research has said that the water in the water bodies in the area has 35 to 395 times more lead than the permissible level. Chromium is 8025 to 18675 times more than permissible. Still we are planning to set up 29 more thermal power plants.

Power plants will be set up in Payra, Matarbari and Maheshkhali areas. We can only apprehend how polluted the air and water of the adjacent areas will be once these projects get implemented. A new study has predicted that these projects would leave the country in a trade deficit as they would require import of coal worth Tk 170 billion.

Considering all these circumstances, we should give up these coal fired power plant projects. At the same time, we need to work hard to contain air pollution.

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