The three most important elements of the environment are soil, water and air. At present these three elements are constantly being polluted due to human activity. At the rate at which the amount of pollution is increasing day by day, it is necessary to survive in a polluted environment. The picture of pollution is so grim that millions of people are injured or killed every year due to pollution. This pollution is damaging public life, destroying a lot of lives and property. Among the pollutants, air pollution, noise pollution, plastic pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, river pollution and waste mismanagement have the greatest impact on human beings.
Environmental pollution is having a combined negative impact on human life The World Bank survey was conducted in 2015. In 2015 alone, 60,294 people died in urban areas due to environmental pollution of these, about 47,000 died due to air pollution and about 34,000 died due to water, inadequate sanitation and health regulations. The direct effects of water, sanitation and unhealthy have killed 4,600 people, the indirect effects have killed 98 people, arsenic in water has killed about 10,000 and occupational environmental pollution has killed about 19,000 people.
Air Pollution: At present, air pollution is the most dangerous of all pollutants. According to the World Bank’s Country-Environmental Analysis (CEA) 2017 report, the number of deaths due to air pollution in Bangladesh is about 47,000. According to the Department of Environment, the source of 57% of air pollution is about 4,500 brick kilns around Dhaka. Combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) has resulted in industrialization, combustion, unplanned urbanization, frequent road excavations, drainage, roadside waste, various types of particulate matter, ash, dust, lead, carbon, Sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide are constantly polluting the air. Among the transient problems of air pollution are burning of nose and mouth, dizziness, headache, nausea etc.
Noise Pollution: Responsible for vehicle hydraulic horns, road vehicles, rail and ship horns, VIP / emergency horns, faulty vehicle / machine mechanical noise, frequent mic use, political rallies, open concerts, building construction, generators, factory noise. According to a study by the European Union’s Transport and Environment, in 2007, 500,000 people suffered from severe heart attacks due to noise pollution from rail and road transport, and 200,000 suffered from cardio-vascular disease. Noise Pollution (Control) Rules-2006 were enacted under the powers of Bangladesh Environmental Protection Act. Under the rules, the standard of sound has been determined by identifying quiet, residential, mixed, commercial and industrial areas. Violation of the law is punishable by one-month imprisonment or a fine not exceeding five thousand rupees or both for the first offense and six months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding 10,000 rupees or both for the subsequent offense. Awareness, sound planning and law enforcement can reduce noise pollution.
Plastic pollution: Plastic pollution is not a new issue now. At one time plastic was just polythene bags, bottles, etc., but in fact the most harmful of the plastics is microplastics, which are now very popularly known as microbeads. Lots of microbeads are available in facewashes, detergents, soaps, bodywashes, toothpastes, etc. As a result of plastics and microbeads, people suffer from problems like thyroid, excessive secretion of hormones, kidney disease, skin disease etc. It also causes the death of marine animals (whales, birds) as a result of the presence and consumption of plastic in the food cycle. Rivers lose navigability, groundwater is polluted, and soil fertility is reduced. A study on microbeads by the Department of Environmental Sciences, Stamford University, Bangladesh, found microbeads in 51 of the 104 cosmetic products of that type. In order to stop plastic pollution, first of all, by implementing the Polythene Prohibition Act 2002, people should be encouraged to use jute, paper and cloth bags (golden bags) instead of plastic. Products containing microbeads should be banned.
River Pollution: The main cause of river pollution is 70-80 percent of the industrial plants have been built around the river. In addition, the factory operates ETP only during the day, and the river is being polluted as municipal authorities discharge sewage waste into the river without treatment. Dockyard waste, river vessels, launches, steamers, trawlers, coal and oil due to leakage, solid waste and sewerage by climbers, chemicals from agricultural activities and unplanned construction of sewage systems and household waste, Etc. and is responsible for river pollution. There are provisions for punishment under the Environmental Protection Act. Article 9 of the law states that if an institution discharges any type of pollutant into a river, it is punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment or a maximum fine of Rs 10 lakh or both. To get rid of river pollution, evict illegal occupants from rivers and river banks, use ETP / CETP for industrial waste treatment and STP for sewage waste.
Unplanned waste management: Hotel and restaurant waste in any area, industrial waste, medical waste, kitchen waste, perishable vegetables in the hat bazar, butcher’s blood, printing paint etc. are some of the sources of waste. Waste is the riskiest medical waste. Air and soil are being polluted due to open dumping of garbage, unplanned accumulation of waste has resulted in stench in the area as well as excessive infestation of mosquitoes, flies and insects. The condition of the wastes is more dire during the monsoon season. Due to untimely removal of wastes during the monsoon season, the wastes start to decompose rapidly, resulting in liquid, black foul-smelling leachate (juice) from the wastes. This leachate is contaminating groundwater by mixing with rainwater into rivers and groundwater through gaps in soil texture. As a result, water borne diseases and various health risks are increasing. According to a survey conducted by the Department of Environmental Sciences, Stamford University, Bangladesh, the Dhaka Medical College Hospital alone generates 1.80 to 2 tons of medical waste per day, of which 85% is hazardous waste. Almost all those involved in the disposal of these wastes work without the use of any safety equipment such as gloves, gumboots, masks, etc., which is responsible for the health risks to the workers.
Today all countries are worried about the problem of environmental pollution. The very existence of civilization is facing a crisis today. The constitution of Bangladesh has also imposed conditions to prevent environmental pollution. World Environment Day is being celebrated here on June 5 every year. So not only the initiative of the city corporation, the citizen must be aware. Pollution is so ingrained in our lives that we are no longer willing to worry about it. But today environmental pollution predicts a terrible danger to human civilization. The need to prevent environmental pollution at any cost in order to build a safer world for future generations is undeniable.
The writer is a student of Dept. of Environmental Science and Engineering in Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh. He can be reached “firstname.lastname@example.org”