Mercury (Hg), a potential contaminant of the environment is of global concern because of its toxic nature, trans-boundary movement and its ability of bio accumulation etc. Bangladesh is one of the vulnerable countries to Hg hazards due to its infrastructural development, people’s unawareness about Hg contamination, lack of proper policy to stop Hg use in different products and Hg waste management and so on. Environment and Social Development
Organization-ESDO is the pioneer organization, has been working in Hg phase out from the country. In this regard it has started research work on Hg sources, products and hotspots in Bangladesh since 2008. Very recently, it has conducted a study on country situation of Hg sources, products and hotspots in Bangladesh. In this study ESDO identified Hg sources and products in Bangladesh, Hg consumption and emission from different sectors, Hg waste
disposal system in different sectors, and people’s perception regarding Hg hazards. This study was conducted in 9 different sectors whose products and bi-products contain Hg. Under this study it has categorized 9 sectors for conducting questionnaire survey. Based on questionnaire survey it has estimated Hg waste disposal from each sector. After getting Hg situation of Bangladesh, a workshop has been kicked off to raise awareness among public and invited participant of relevant sectors. It has found that in 2011 total amount of Hg released from cement industries of Bangladesh was 0.489178 ton. The study revealed that Hg emission from cement industries is increasing significantly during last five years. In case of chlor alkali factories estimated Hg release in 2011 was roughly 1.4445 tons. The total amount of Hg usage and release in healthcare instruments in Bangladesh is estimated 24.28 tons and 6.9 tons per year. Consumer beauty fairness cream also retain certain amount of Hg. Study revealed that highest (4653 ppm) level of Hg was in Garnier, on the other hand, lowest (3361 ppm) in Shumons Aroma. Moreover, Hg content in Fair & Lovely Ayurvedic (4004 ppm), Fair & Lovely Max fairness (4174 ppm), Modern (4152 ppm) and Fair & Handsome (Emami) (4133 ppm) exceeded 4000 ppm. Rest of the fairness products contain Hg lower concentration but above 3000 ppm. In case of electrical equipments manufacturer majority (79%) of the people are unaware about the hazards of Hg and only 21% people are aware of Hg contamination and its health and environmental hazards. From the study findings it can be said that people of Bangladesh are not aware about Hg hazards. Moreover, Bangladesh has no policy to stop Hg pollution. So, it is unavoidable to formulate a policy to stop Hg containing products manufacture and reduce Hg pollution in Bangladesh. Moreover, mass awareness is inevitable to aware people about Hg containing products and its health and environmental hazards. The link of the report is given bellow.