According to the World Health Organization, the number of respiratory diseases and disorders including heart attack, heart disease, lung cancer and pneumonia due to air pollution is about 7 million people who die worldwide every year. Two million of them are reported from the South and Southeast Asian region including Sri Lanka.
Traffic fumes are considered to be the main cause of air pollution in Asia. Air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide and even very small pollutant particles cause atmospheric pollution in our surroundings.
According to the health department, 45 percent of the diseases in hospitalized patients in Asia are caused by air pollution. Furthermore, according to the report titled ‘Ambient air pollution: A global assessment of exposure and burden of disease’ released by the World Health Organization, the number of deaths due to air pollution-related diseases in Sri Lanka is about 7,792 annually.
Compared to other diseases, the difference is that air pollution is not visible to the naked eye. That is, it affects the individual’s health gradually and silently, and its severity is realized only after the health condition has deteriorated drastically. That is, after human lives, health and well-being have entered a dangerous situation.
However, according to the IQAir AirVisual global air quality report released in 2019, the atmospheric PM2.5 density in Asia is very average (25.20). In 2018, the situation was 32.00 and according to that, Sri Lanka has managed to achieve a good growth in a year. Moreover, in comparison with other South Asian countries, Asia air quality is high. In particular, Bangladesh is considered to be the country with the most air pollution in South Asia, and its PM2.5 value is as high as 83.3.
Asia was able to achieve high air quality because of mandatory vehicle smog testing. No matter how much the vehicle population in Asia has grown, the air quality has been able to be maintained at a satisfactory level due to the vehicle smoke testing process. Air pollution is a silent monster. It destroys the health, sanity and happiness of our lives. For this reason, by following health-friendly measures like vehicle smoke inspection, we should use the benefit to the surrounding environment to improve the quality of our lives by reducing air pollution.