Dhaka, 29 October, 2016: Children urge the government to ban lead paint immediately; they expressed their appeal through painting. More than hundred children took part in a painting competition to observe the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint week 2016 on Saturday, 29th October at Dhanmondi. Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO in association with‘Jotun Bangladesh Limited’organized the competition.
This year, ESDO observed the GALEP week with a motto of banning lead in paint in Bangladesh. Children expressed through their painting work how harmful of the LeadPaint for health and environment. They demanded to ban lead paint in Bangladesh by 2017 and to take immediate step to introduce national mandatory paint standard as 50ppm.
Syed Marghub Murshed, former Secretary of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO was the chief guest of the prize giving ceremony. He encouraged the children’s initiative to protect health and environment and said, “We want to grow up in a toxic free world. We don’t want to live in anenvironment polluted by heavy toxic like lead”. Everyone should know about it and act accordingly to make Bangladesh lead free.
In the prize giving ceremony, Siddika Sultana, Executive Director of ESDO and Mr. Shafiq Siddique, General Manager, Jotun Bangladesh Ltd. were present. Siddika Sultana said, “We want to say with the whole world that ban lead paint. We want support from that paint industries who are still manufacturing leaded paint. The alternatives to leaded paints are now available in the market. I urge the government to establish legislation to ban lead paint by 2017”.
“We do not produce leaded paint. In order to prevent the pollution, both paint manufacturing companies and mass people should gate aware and ESDO should take initiatives to raise awareness among people”, said Shafique Siddiqui, General Manager of Jotun Bangladesh Ltd.
In category A that is from class 5 to 10, Deawan Sayda Rahman stood first and in category B, that is class 1 to 4, K. M. Farhan Islam got the 1st position. Paintings of all the participants were judged by Artist Abdul Gaffar Babu and Sandip Saha.
Many developing countries have banned lead paints. Countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Philippines, India and Thailand have also set a standard of 90 ppm for lead in paints and published their gazettes. However, national standard regarding lead in paint 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 was to raise voice for the development of regulation on lead content in paints and to create mass awareness on harmful effects of lead in paints particularly on child health (0-6 years old) and on pregnant mother. It is really quite shocking that parents painting their children’s nursery with sunny yellow paint or someone who is running 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.
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, mobile campaign and art competition.
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