Environmental pollution and public health

Act quickly and decisively to save lives

Published : 23 May 2022 08:38 PM

It is alarming to note that an estimated 9 million people die from pollution of all types each year, according to a study of global mortality and pollution levels published recently in The Lancet Planetary Health journal. The Lancet Commission on pollution and health said the impact from pollution on global health remains "much greater than that of war, terrorism, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, drugs and alcohol".

According to the Lancet report titled ‘Global Burden of Diseases’, more than 200,000 people in Bangladesh died because of environment pollution in 2019. Reportedly, nearly 1.75 lakh people died due to air pollution, while over 30,000 deaths occurred because of water pollution.

Pollution and environmental challenges have occupied our life and livelihood to a greater extent. Over the last years, air pollution has turned into a major public health concern in Bangladesh particularly in capital Dhaka and it has repeatedly been labelled as one of the 10 most polluted cities in the world. Hitherto we have not taken any consistent and prudent action to address air pollution in Bangladesh. 

Experts are of the opinion that the current level of air pollution in Dhaka is responsible for the rise of various diseases like lung problems, cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory problems etc. 

The government should frame 

appropriate strategies, ensure good 

governance and strictly enforce laws

 to prevent environmental pollution

Improvements in energy efficiency, increased use of less-or non-polluting renewable sources of energy are examples of measures that will benefit both air quality and the climate. We hope the government will frame appropriate strategies, ensure good governance and strictly enforce laws to prevent environmental pollution. 

Air pollution should be a key issue that authorities concerned must address in the sphere of sustainable construction. It is time to implement 

necessary laws to compel the builders and constructors to build roads and buildings following rules and regulations. 

The government, policy makers, civil society, the private sector and even individuals must play their role  to control unusual growth of dust as well as other air pollutants. Our policymakers should understand and underscore the need for formulating new policies to curb air pollution.