Government must revise emissions standard following WHO to save public health17 April 2023
recently enacted Air Pollution Control Rules-2022 has been adopted to
protect the interest of the businesses that are responsible for
polluting the country's environment. Environmentalists and academicians
also urged the government to revise emissions standards following World
Health Organisation's (WHO) standard to reduce the perennial air
pollution taking a toll on the country's economy and public health.
Air pollution is responsible for about 20 per cent of the total premature deaths in Bangladesh. A World Bank report stated that South Asia is home to 9 of the world's 10 cities with the worst air pollution, and Dhaka is one of them. Exposure to such extreme air pollution has impacts ranging from stunting and reduced cognitive development in children, to respiratory infections and chronic and debilitating diseases. This drives up healthcare costs, lowers a country's productive capacity, and leads to lost days worked.
Air pollution creates a serious threat to public health and has major consequences on economic growth. Evidence shows that with commitment, the right actions, and policies, it is possible to tackle air pollution. Bangladesh has already taken steps to improve air quality management, including the approval of the Air Pollution Control Rules. Along with strong national actions, transboundary solutions will be important to curb air pollution.
Dhaka's air pollution consistently ranks among the top risk factors for death and disability worldwide. Breathing polluted air has long been recognised as increasing a person's chances of developing heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, lung infections and cancer. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.
Unfortunately, the government in many cases is the top polluter and ruling party men are unabatedly destroying nature for making profits. Policy support for commoners does not exist, but all bear the price of air pollution.