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.
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 the campaign for eliminating lead in paints in Bangladesh.
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. 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.