5:16 pm - Saturday May 23, 5001

Air pollution takes heavy toll on child health

Nowadays air and water pollutions have turned as a major health concern. Air is mainly polluted by emissions from brick fields, exhaust of vehicles, industrial discharges and burning of fossil fuel.

According to experts, pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. The six common and hazardous air pollutants consist of particulate matter, ground level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur-oxides and lead, of which, particle pollution and ground level ozone are the most widespread health hazards, reports BSS.

AsthmaIt is the by product of the development of civilization and in fact the price of the progress. The world population is threatened by this air pollution and its consequential impact.

Air Pollution is a serious environmental health hazards affecting the population of Bangladesh. Indoor air pollution is mainly associated with the use of bio-mass fuels during cooking with poor ventilation.

Industrial emissions and automobiles are the principal sources of outdoor air pollution.

According to the Department of Environment, poorly serviced vehicles, brick kilns, dust from roadsides and construction sites and toxic fumes from the industrial units are major sources of air pollution in Bangladesh.

The air pollution has its immediate and long term negative impact on human health situation. Thousands of people suffer from pulmonary, respiratory and neurological illness and these are mainly attributed to poor air quality.

Vehicular air pollution is a major cause of respiratory disease in urban Bangladesh. If pregnant mothers come across excessive pollution, it may cause premature death of their children.

Children are especially venerable to air pollutants because they are different from adults in how they interact with their environment, their health may be affected by interactions.

Air pollutants pose a serious threat to children because their lungs are developing and growing, they breath at a higher rate than adults, and they spend more times in playing outdoors, often being very physically active.

Exposure to ozone and particulate matters may lead to a number of adverse health effects in children such as shortness of breath, chest pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing and coughing, temporary decrease in lung function and lower respiratory tract infections, exacerbation of asthma, and development of chronic bronchitis.

In Bangladesh, metropolitan cities are very much prone to air pollution. Particularly Dhaka and Chittagong deserve special mention in this regard.

Air pollution is a global issue as a part of global environment pollution and warming. But its effect on the physical environment is experienced in developing countries most with varying intensity.

It potentially places all people at risk, but its health effect will vary greatly among individuals and communities and quality nutrition, occupation etc. In general people and communities with better livelihood will suffer less than those living in poor and disadvantaged areas.

Long term negative impacts of air pollution are a threat to our future generation. A child born and brought up in a polluted air definitely will have different complications which may not be detected/diagnosed primarily because of absence of adequate medicare in our country. But in future these undetected complications may become a major health hazards for them.

Bangladesh is a densely populated country having half of its population is children. It is our national responsibility to ensure better environment for the children. Otherwise other development effort would face a challenge which would be more difficult and expensive.