To stop the use of lead in paint in Bangladesh by 2017, Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO and Bangladesh Paint Manufacturers Association (BPMA) demanded the government to enact specific policies and regulations yesterday.
They urged this at the “High Level Policy Dialogue on Lead Free Paints in Bangladesh” organized by ESDO on 27 October at ESDO’s head office.
To eliminate lead in paints globally, Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint (GAELP) observes ‘International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week’ every year. ESDO conducted the dialogue as part of celebrating International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Bangladesh. The objective of this meeting was to set up the immediate standard of 50 ppm by 2015 and a complete elimination of lead from Bangladesh by 2017. The policy dialogue constituted with high officials from Berger Paints, Moon Star Paints, Roxi Paint, RAK Paint, Anchor Paint , and Elite Paints, government officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Department of Environment (DoE) and Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute (BSTI) and ESDO officials.
Syed Marghub Murshed, Chari person of ESDO and former Secretary, Government of Bangladesh said, “We must provide our children with pollution free environment for ensuring sound growth and development of children. As a result of the continuous policy advocacy of ESDO, several large and medium companies in Bangladesh have recently started manufacturing and selling lead free paints.”After ESDO, now the government should come forwared and prepare a regulation to eliminate the use of lead in paints by 2017 and set up the immediate standard of 50 ppm by 2015.” Mr. Mahmood Hasan Khan and Mr. Sultan Ahmed, Director, Department of Environment, said, “Department of Environment has been working on eliminating lead in paint. Very soon we will be able to make the standard lead content in paints to be 50 ppm. ” Md. Shamsuzzaman, Secretary General, BPMA expressed, “Bangladesh government welcomes ESDO’s multi-dimensional activities towards creating Bangladesh lead free. Multinational, medium and small paint manufacturers have agreed with BPMA to set 50 ppm as the lead limiting standard in paints.” “To accelerate this movement, government should enact policies and regulations immediately, “he added. Jahora Sikder, Deputy Director attended this policy dialogue from BSTI.
ESDO Secretary General and UNEP mercury specialist, Dr. Shahriar Hossain said, “Children are mostly vulnerable to lead poisoning. Developed countries have already banned lead. To ban lead in Bangladesh, ESDO has been working with relevant ministries since 2009.” Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO expressed that ESDO hopes that government will immediately take proper steps to ban lead in paint. She thanked everyone who participated at the dialogue. Since 2009, ESDO has been working on eliminating lead in paints through creating awareness and policy advocacy. ESDO has been working on implementing ‘Lead Paint Elimination’ project in Bangladesh in association with European Union (EU) and International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) since 2012. BPMA joined this venture with ESDO in 2013. Some large and medium paint manufacturers have already started selling lead free paints. BPMA and ESDO asked for government’s intervention in manufacturing leaded paints and create regulations specific to leaded poisons.