The burning of biomass was found to be the leading cause of indoor air pollution
Construction materials are the leading cause of outdoor air pollution, making up 38% of all outdoor air pollutants, according to a recent study.
On the other hand, the burning of biomass was found to be the leading cause indoor air pollution, making up 41% of all indoor air pollutants.
The findings of the study, titled “Air Pollution in Bangladesh: Outdoor vs. Indoor: Sources and Penalties,” were disclosed by the Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) in a press briefing through virtual platform Zoom on Monday.
According to the ESDO study conducted in both rural and urban areas, the major sources of outdoor air pollution are construction materials (38%), open landfill incineration of plastic waste (22%), industrial processes (17%), brick kilns (10%), and combustion of fossil fuels for road transport and power generation (8%).
Major sources of indoor air pollution are smoke from cooking stoves/burning of biomass (41%), smoke from cigarette smoking (25%), gas from toilets/sewerage (15%),radon gas and unseen indoor pollutants (10%), lead poisoning from decorative paint (9%).
Dr Abu Jafar Mahmd, former chairman of the department of chemistry at Dhaka University (DU); Dr Mohammad Abdul Motalib, deputy director (Monitoring and Enforcement Department) of the Department of Environment (DoE); Dr Md Shafiur Rahman, assistant professor, department of occupational and environmental health, NIPSOM; Dr Shahriar Hossain, secretary general, ESDO; and Siddika Sultana, executive director, ESDO attended the briefing.
However, according to government data, brick kilns are responsible for 58% of outdoor air pollution.
ESDO Secretary Dr Shahriar Hossain said: "We detected radon gas, which comes from kitchens and toilets in urban areas. This gas is toxic and can causes cancer.”
He claimed no other study had noticed the radon gas, so far, and houses in the US are often abandoned due to radon gas exposure.