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Monday, 02 October 2023
World Environment Day:  Environment pollution and its terrible effects on our life

World Environment Day: Environment pollution and its terrible effects on our life


Emran Emon

Environment is the nature and surroundings in which all plants, animals, humans and other living beings live and operate. Every living and non-living thing is related to environment. However, in the broadest sense, the environment refers to the overall state of the world's natural environment. The environment is an important element of human civilization. From the very beginning of the creation of civilization, we the man has developed the environment around us.

The environment is the bearer of life, the carrier of life force. From the beginning of creation, its existence has depended on the ability of animals to adapt to the environment. If the environment is unfavorable, the destruction and extinction of the organism is inevitable.

The development of human, other plant and animal life depends on the environment. So there is a close connection between the environment and people. But due to various reasons, the problem of environmental pollution is evident and human civilization is facing an extreme threat today. Various researches are going on about the way to get rid of this. The United Nations has declared June 5 as 'World Environment Day' with the aim of raising public awareness about global environmental pollution.

However, there is a history behind the observation of this 'World Environment Day'. On May 20, 1968, the Swedish government sent a letter to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The subject of the letter was their deep concern about nature and environmental pollution. In the same year, the issue of environmental protection was included in the agenda of the General Assembly by the United Nations.

The following year, the United Nations Human Environment Conference was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 5 June to 16 June in 1972, with the consent of the member states for detailed discussions on the protection of the environment and the search for solutions.

119 countries of the world participated in that conference. The conference is recognized as the first international conference on environment. On June 5, 1973, the first day of the conference was declared by the United Nations as 'World Environment Day'. 'World Environment Day' has been observed around the world since June 5, 1974.

The theme of World Environment Day-2023 is “Solution to Plastic Pollution”. And the slogan is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. The year 2023 marks the 51 years since the first United Nations Conference at Stockhome in the year 1972 that led to the creation of UNEP and designating 5th June as World Environment Day every year.

Nature and environment are our only means to survive. But we are constantly polluting this nature and environment in various ways. The level of environmental pollution around the world is terrible now. Significant causes of environmental pollution include overpopulation, unplanned urbanization, deforestation, misuse of natural resources, rapid industrialization, overuse of fertilizers and pesticides, industrial wastes, toxic fumes, vehicle emissions, ozone levels, acid rain, unplanned housing construction, poverty, cosmetics and use of plastic products etc.

One day human beings became addicted to conquering nature. Conquering nature did not end that human addiction. With the advancement of science and technology, people began to dominate space over water and land. But this victory of man plunged man into one defeat. Today we face a terrible crisis.

This crisis is not of any particular country, nor of any particular nation. This crisis is all over the world today. Today the world's environment is polluted in many ways. This pollution is leading us to a terrible future today. Billions of people around the world are in danger today because of the terrible environmental pollution. A catastrophe is waiting for us!

Today there is poison in the water, panic in the air, panic on the ground. Today, more than 80 species of animals have become extinct in the last 60 years. Hundreds of species of plants are extinct.

We have improved the economy. As a result, 22 crore tons of carbon monoxide is being stored in the air every year. The proportion of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide gas in the atmosphere are increasing day by day.

As a result, the amount of acid in rain water is increasing. This acid rain is causing epidemics in the forest. It's poisoning food grains. The green forest is rapidly being destroyed. About 80 percent of the world's total is tropical forests.

Of this, 21 hectares of arable land has become barren every minute. Every year 75 lakh hectares of land is turning into desert. Every minute 50 hectares of fertile land is becoming sandy. Every year a huge amount of oxygen is lost in the air. The oppression of the earth is increasing due to the misuse of science and technology. Various types of pesticides are being developed and applied to protect the crops. These dangerous chemicals are entering the human body. As a result, various complex and difficult diseases are forming in our body.

Eighty percent of the world's new diseases are caused by environmental pollution. As a result of environmental pollution, the ice in the polar region is melting into water. The volume of the ozone layer in the atmosphere is gradually shrinking. As a result, the sun's deadly ultraviolet rays will touch the animal kingdom. As a result of pollution, plants and animals are endangered today. The number of fish in the sea-river-pond is decreasing day by day. There are various diseases in the body of the fish.

The level of environmental pollution in our country is more terrible. According to a report released by the World Bank, Bangladesh is one of the countries most affected by pollution and environmental risks. About 28 percent of the deaths in Bangladesh each year are due to environmental pollution.

But the average death rate worldwide is only 16 percent. According to the World Bank, the level of pollution in urban areas has reached alarming levels. Comparing the Asian countries, the report said that while 28 percent of deaths due to environmental pollution are in Bangladesh, the rate is 11.5 percent in the Maldives and 26.5 percent in India.

One of the most important causes of environmental pollution is air pollution. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a US-based research institute, says exposure to polluted air that contains chemicals can cause infections or damage to the eyes, nose, throat, as well as complications of the lungs such as bronchitis or pneumonia, headaches, asthma and other allergies. Scientists have also found a link between air pollution and diabetes.

According to the report of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 'Monitoring the Situation of Vital Statistics' project, the average life expectancy of the people of Bangladesh is currently 72.6 years. At the same time a year ago, the average life expectancy was 72.3 years.

However, if the average life expectancy of air pollution continues to increase, it can go down in 67 years! One-fourth of the world's people live in four South Asian countries— Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal. The level of air pollution is also higher in these four countries. With 44 percent increase in air pollution over the past decade, the average life expectancy of people in these four countries could be reduced by at least five years on average.

And globally, the average life expectancy could be reduced to at least three years. According to the report, out of 234 countries, Bangladesh has been named as the country with the highest air pollution in the world. Pollution levels in almost every region of the country have exceeded the World Health Organization's tolerable levels.

The most polluted air in Bangladesh is in Dhaka and Khulna region. People living in these two regions are breathing eight times more polluted air than the World Health Organization guidelines. Vehicles supply 25 percent of the PM-2.5 particles in the air worldwide. 20 percent is coming due to burning wood and coal. In addition, power plants and other industries are responsible for 15 percent of the fines in the air.

According to a study published in the international journal Cardiovascular Research, air pollution has been identified as an 'epidemic'. Due to air pollution, the average life expectancy of people around the world has decreased by almost three years.

About 88 lakh people are dying prematurely. According to the report, the effects of pollutants from oil, gas, coal and fossil fuels can last up to a year in the human lungs. This research also said that, the effects of air pollution on public health were more harmful than smoking. It is possible to reduce this loss by using renewable energy.

More people are dying prematurely from air pollution than from epidemics. 19 times more people die prematurely due to air pollution than malaria and almost 9 times more than AIDS. 6 percent of people die from lung cancer from air pollution.

As a result, the number of patients suffering from other lung diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes is increasing day by day. Asia has higher levels of air pollution than any other continent. Researcher Thomas Manzel says, man-made pollution is largely responsible for about two-thirds of premature deaths. By reducing the use of fossil fuels, it is possible to save about 55 lakh people from premature death every year.

The Ministry of Environment has identified 20 causes for air pollution. These include brick kilns, road construction, reconstruction and repair, construction and digging of service companies, major development projects (expressways, metrorails), construction of multi-storey buildings at government and private levels, sand extraction and collection on commercial basis along roads or highways, trucks or open transport of sand, soil, cement and other construction materials in lorries, dumping of household and municipal waste on the road and incineration of waste, removal of dirt from drains and dumping on the road, scattering of dust while sweeping the road, sweeping of roadsides, sidewalks and Soil and dust from the wreckage of road Island, hazardous fumes from unfit transport, mud from the wheels of various vehicles, burning of rubbish from various educational institutions and government colonies, rubbish from various markets, shopping malls and commercial buildings, dust in the area, dumping of hospital waste on the streets, use of high sulfur diesel and lack of public awareness.

According to a study by the Department of Environment, brick kiln smoke is responsible for 58 percent of Dhaka's air pollution. Dust that comes with construction and repair work and smoke from expired vehicles are responsible for the remaining 42 percent. Moreover, at the present time, weather and climate change, intense heat, rainless conditions—are at the root cause of the terrible environmental pollution.

The environment is the mainstay of our survival. If the environment is free from pollution, we will be free from various complex and difficult diseases, disasters and epidemics. If the environment is protected, we will be protected. Let's be aware of protecting the environment, let's make others aware too. Make the earth habitable, protect it from destruction.

The writer is a, researcher, journalist & columnist

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