Dhaka, October 28, 2016: Environmental activist group demanded to ban lead paint in Bangladesh by 2017. In a public awareness rally, they urged the government to take immediate step to introduce national standard for lead concentration in paint. Concerning about the child health and environment they demanded 50 ppm as a standard for lead content in paint.
To observe The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (GAELP) week-2016, (23rd to 29th October) Environment and Social Development Organization -ESDO in association with international NGO network, IPEN and Asian Paints Bangladesh Limited organized a rally and mobile campaign. In this year ESDO observed the GALEP week with a motto to ban lead in paint in Bangladesh by 2017 and setting a standard of 50 ppm of lead content in paint.
The rally was held in front of the National Press Club. Environmental activities, experts, paint manufacturers and more than hundred ESDO’s green club members and Girls’ Guide participated in the rally further conducted mobile campaign towards Gulistan, Basundhara, New market, Simanto square and Rapa Plaza in the afternoon.
Many developing countries have already banned lead paints. Countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Philippines, India and Thailand have also set 90 ppm as standard for lead in paints and published their gazettes. However, national standard regarding lead in paints in Bangladesh is yet to be introduced. The mass population is even unaware of the exposure routs and health effects of lead. The goal of the campaign is to create mass awareness on harmful effects of lead in paints particularly on child health (0-6 years old) and pregnant mother and regulation of lead content in paints. It is really quite shocking that a parents who paint their child’s nursery with a sunny yellow paint or someone who runs a colorfully painted child care center may be, through no fault of their own, exposing a child to permanent brain damage caused by lead exposure.
Syed MarghubMurshed, former Secretary of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO said, “It’s essential for our society to respond to this global challenge and make the phase out of lead in paint as a top public health priority. We must act with urgency as the health of our children can be permanently and irreversibly damaged even at very low exposure to lead.”
A.K.M. Mohibullah, General Manager of Elite Paint and Chemical Industries Ltd. and Executive Board Member of Bangladesh Paint Manufacturers Association (BPMA) said, “We are always with ESDO and will remain with ESDO in the movement of banning lead paint. We also urge the government for enacting legislation against lead in paint by 2017”. A representative from Asian Paints Bangladesh Ltd.was also present at the human chain.
The prime objectives of the events are to raise awareness among people about poisoning of lead and to urge the Government to take further action for establishing regulation to eliminate lead in paint.
The Global Alliance is a joint undertaking of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (GAELP) is a voluntary collaborative initiative to achieve international goals to prevent children’s exposure to lead from paint and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint.International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is observed every year around the world. ESDO has been observing the week since 2012. This year ESDO observed the week through a rally and mobile campaign. The rally was formed by around 300 Green Club members of ESDO. These teenagers were from Bangla and English medium schools, universities, who joined to campaign for eliminating lead in paints in Bangladesh.
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