Experts urged to ratify Minamata Convention to phase out mercury-added products পারদযুক্ত পণ্যের ব্যবহার বন্ধে মিনামাতা কনভেনশন অনুমোদনের আহ্বান সেন্টমার্টিন সৈকতে প্লাস্টিকের আগ্রাসন 72 birds die eating pesticide-treated masakalai Educate girls to save the planet শিশুর সর্দি-কাশি সারানোর ঘরোয়া উপায় 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12 24 thousand under 5 children die of pneumonia in Bangladesh annually গ্রিনহাউস গ্যাস কমানোর লক্ষ্যে নানা উদ্যোগ Maldives: Eco-friendly product export destination for Bangladesh

Cities choke on air pollution


The quality of air in the capital is extremely unhealthy.

The presence of pollutant particles in its air even on a normal day is more than six times the healthy limit.

If this sounds scary, then you should know that the air in its neighbouring cities Gazipur and Narayanganj is even worse, according to the Department of Environment (DoE).

The level of pollution in the three cities has gone so high that the World Health Organisation has placed them among the 25 cities with the most polluted air in the world.

The DoE, under the Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (CASE) project, is measuring the air qualities in eight cities — Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Barisal, Rajshahi, Khulna, Gazipur and Narayanganj.

The air in none of the cities is even nearly healthy.

Industrial smog, smoke from vehicles and brick kilns, and dust from construction sites are the main source of pollution in the cities, thinks Dr Manzurul Hannan Khan, director of the CASE project.

The level of pollution, as recorded by the CASE officials, is particularly high during the winter.

Asked why this happens, Manzurul said, “Rain plays a great role in cleaning the dust in the air.”

“As the amount of rainfall reduces in the winter, pollution level in the air goes up.”

This might be a key reason behind the rise in respiratory complications during the season, says Prof Atiqur Rahman, chairman of respiratory medicine department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

“Though we haven’t yet conducted any study, we for sure know that the number of respiratory patients increases very much during the winter.”

What is more alarming is that the government is barely doing anything substantial to make air of the cities clean,  leaving people exposed to serious health hazards.

ASSESSMENT OF AIR QUALITY

“Every day, we collect air quality data from our 11 devices set up in the eight cities. We enter the data in our software which then calculates the air quality index (AQI) value,” said Sabera Nasrin, data quality monitoring officer of the CASE project.

The DoE is following the air quality measurement standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency, she said.

As per the standards, 0-50 index value is considered good or healthy, 51-100 moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy, and above 300 extremely unhealthy.

Shockingly, 300 is the minimum AQI value found in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Khulna cities for most

part of the year, especially in the winter.

For example, on December 7, the AQI values were recorded at 330 in Dhaka, 311 in Gazipur, 438 in Narayanganj, 335 in Khulna, 168 in Rajshahi, 138 in Sylhet, 228 in Chittagong and 288 in Barisal cities.

Source: Daily Star

Posted by on Jan 4 2016. Filed under News at Now. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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