IPD said that when the air quality crosses 201, a health alert and emergency is declared in various countries. Under such conditions, children, elderly and ailing persons are advised to remain indoors and others are advised to limit their outdoor activities. In 23 out of 24 days of this month, Dhaka's air quality crossed 300, that is, hazardous.
The causes of this deterioration in air quality, according to IPD, were uncontrolled dust in the capital, unhindered movement of cars without fitness, brick kilns, uncontrolled digging of roads, massive construction of mega projects, smoke and waste from industries, mismanagement of solid waste and burning waste. All this was contributing to making the city's air hazardous.
Chairman of the respiratory medicine department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Mohammad Atiqur Rahman, told Prothom Alo, "Basically the lungs are affected by polluted air. This can also give rise to colds, coughs, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, pneumonia and asthma. The kidneys and eyes can be affected too. In the case of women, there is an increased rate of accidental abortions and still birth."
"Our life expectancy has increased, but we are falling behind due to air pollution. The average life expectancy of Dhaka's residents is decreasing by eight years," he added.
According to the World Bank's report, 'Breathing Heavy: New Evidence of Air Pollution and Health in Bangladesh,' published in December last year, every year around 88,000 people die of pollution in Bangladesh due to air pollution.