A new global study has shown that pollution was responsible for more than 2.15 million deaths in Bangladesh due to premature death in 2019.
According to a study published in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday, poor air quality was the main cause of such deaths. However, water, lead pollution and occupational hazards are other factors.
Nearly 1.75 Lakh people died due to pollution from the air, while over 30,000 people died because of water pollution. This is according to the Pollution and health: a Progress update.
Pollution directly links to heart disease and cancer, as well as other illnesses.
According to the report, at most 215,824 people died from exposure to water, air, lead, and other hazards in 2019.
Bangladesh was ranked sixth in the list of countries experiencing premature deaths from pollution, while India topped it with 2,357 267 deaths.
Niaz Ahmad Khan, professor at Department of Development Studies of Dhaka University, stated, “It has almost become an ideology that things like polluting should be accepted in collateral damage for greater development.” The situation is so bad that babies are already paying the price.
“Considering the severity of the problem, it seemed that we were rather insufficiently prepared and concerned,” said the former country director of IUCN.
The report was based upon data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2019(GBD), which showed that pollution continues to be a major cause of approximately nine million deaths per year worldwide.
According to the report, pollution is still the leading environmental risk factor for death and disease worldwide, especially in low- and mid-income countries.
It adds that air pollution is responsible for almost 75 percent of the nine-million deaths.
According to the World Bank, Bangladesh was one of the most affected countries in the world in 2015 according to a 2018 report.
Due to emissions from brick ovens, development works, fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning and emissions, Bangladesh’s poor air quality often makes headlines around the world.
According to the World Air Quality Report 2020, which was released in March of last year, the country’s average annual PM2.5 concentration was 77.1 micrograms/cubic meter, more than twice the WHO recommended limit.
It stated that Bangladesh’s entire population lived in areas that exceeded 35 micrograms/cubic meter, the WHO’s minimum interim target.
Abdullah Harun Chowdhury is a professor of Environmental Science Discipline at Khulna University. He said that heavy metal pollution has become a serious concern in recent years because it is dangerous for the environment as well as human health.
He said that hospitals and clinics are expanding rapidly across the country, and that the waiting lists for patients are growing longer. “All citizens are exposed to polluting. Those who can tolerate it can live and those who can’t can die.
“We know the source of the pollution. Although we know the polluters, in some cases the polluters are so powerful that no action is taken against them.”
He also blamed the lack of technical knowledge and resource constraints on pollution prevention.
According to the latest study, more than 90% of pollution-related deaths occur in low- or middle-income countries. The US ranked seventh in 2019 with 142,883 deaths, while China was responsible for almost 2.2million deaths.
In 2019, global air pollution, both household and ambient, was responsible for 6.7 Million deaths. Water pollution was responsible 1.4 million deaths. Lead pollution was responsible 900,000 premature deaths.
“The health effects of pollution are still enormous and low- and medium-income countries continue to bear the brunt of these burdens.” Richard Fuller (lead author of the study) said that pollution prevention is often neglected in international development programs despite its huge health, social, and economic consequences.