Bangladesh remains at severe risk of air and plastic pollution, and the situation is worsening gradually due to lack of time-befitting policies and mass awareness, according to a study of CPD.
Though deaths from diseases associated with air pollution have risen by 9 percent over the last 20 years, there is no respite from pollution in the megacity of Dhaka.
The Centre for policy dialogue (CPD) underscored this situation through a presentation in a knowledge-sharing workshop titled ‘Promoting green cities through building awareness on air and plastic pollution' with journalists, held at its office in Dhanmondi on Sunday.
The Executive Director of CPD Dr Fahmida Khatun chaired the workshop, while its research fellow Syed Yusuf Saadat gave the keynote presentation on the topic.
CPD has undertaken a program titled ‘Green Cities Initiative’ which aims to understand the nexus between air and plastic pollution and the economy of Bangladesh and make relevant policy recommendations.
The Green Cities Initiative will focus on two broad thematic areas- air pollution and plastic pollution.
The presentation pointed out that Dhaka is facing significant challenges in managing air and plastic pollution.
Among the air pollution Particulate Matter (PM) PM2.5 and PM10 consists of aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm and 10 μm respectively. PM2.5 is so minute that billions of them can be fitted inside one red blood cell, causing mortality from respiratory, cardiovascular, and other types of diseases.
PM pollution rose from 51.6 µg/m3 in 1995 to 63.4 µg/m3 in 2019 – a 23 percent increase. This has serious short and long-term health implications, which affect the economy by lowering workforce productivity and causing environmental damage, the presentation revealed.
Air pollution is likely to increase in the coming years if strong political intervention and effective policies are not taken immediately, the CPD pointed out.