Air pollution issue needs deliberation

In this universe thousands are killed every day by the air pollution directly or indirectly while one is pursuing for their survival.  Bhutan is also likely to face such consequences if our environment is not protected as it is right now. We see many people are suffering from all kind of diseases; it’s all due to air pollution in the country.

If we analysis properly, right now it is not that severe because of the carbon sink created by the thick forest in the country is sufficient the cushion the level of air pollution. Air pollution can damage crops and trees in a variety of ways. Ground-level ozone can lead to reductions in agricultural  productions and commercial forest yields, reduced growth and survivability of seedlings, and increased plant susceptibility to disease, pests and other environmental stresses (such as harsh weather).

The groups most affected by air pollution are elderly residents, children with uncontrolled asthma, and people living in poverty. Vulnerable populations may experience more health effects because these populations are already having higher rates of heart and lung infections.

Pollution may muddle landscapes, poison soils and waterways or kill plants and animals. Humans are also regularly harmed by pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution, for example, can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer and other diseases. One of the most significant effects of air pollution is on climate change, particularly global warming. As a result of the growing worldwide consumption of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased steadily since early 90s, and the rate of increase is accelerating.  

Long-term health effects from air pollution include heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs. Some scientists suspect air pollutants cause birth defects. Burning fossil fuels releases gases and chemicals into the air.” And in an especially destructive feedback loop, airpollution not only contributes to climate change but is also exacerbated by it. “Airpollution in the form of carbon dioxide and methane raises the earth’s temperature,” 

High air pollution levels can cause immediate health problems including aggravated cardiovascular and respiratory illness. Added stress to heart and lungs, which must work harder to supply the body with oxygen and damaged cells in the respiratory system. 

 Air pollution is caused by solid and liquid particles and certain gases that are suspended in the air. These particles and gases can come from car and truck exhaust, factories, dust, pollen, mild spores, volcanoes and wildfires 

Air pollutants can harm ecological resources; including water quality, soil, plants, animals and metals, such as mercury, and persistent organic compounds deposited from the atmosphere can bio accumulate in the food chain, causing behavioral, neurological and reproductive effects in fish, birds, and wildlife 

Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by pollution every year. People who live in places with high levels of air pollutants have a 20% higher risk of death from lung cancer than people who live in less-polluted areas. 

As such, National Environmental Commission must always try to reduce air pollution by various measures which includes riding a bike or walking instead of driving, taking a bus or carpooling, buying a car that has greater fuel efficiency and turning off lights and electrical appliances when not in use. 

Using energy efficient bulbs and appliances, purchasing fewer things that are manufactured using fossil fuels could also help. The other alternative could be to educate people in and around for the application through mitigation measures adopted wherever possible or else deal as per law for not adopting the rules stringently for the safety of the environment.

As such, Members of the Parliamentarian must pay attention not only for the other developmental activities but also on the environmental conservation issues at large interest of the country.

Tshering, Thimphu