Dhaka 26, October, 2017: Government delegations urged for an immediate regulation to ban hazardous lead paint and expressed the necessity to immediately publish the gazette for a standard of 50 ppm lead content in paint. A high level policy dialogue was organized by Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO on Thursday 11:30 AM at ESDO Head Office, Lalmatia, Dhaka.

Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO and former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh presided over the meeting. Government officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Environment (DoE), Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), and  ESDO officials were present at the meeting.

In 2011 a four-year SWITCH-Asia regional project was launched, to decrease production and use of lead paint in different countries including Bangladesh. European Union (EU) Switch Asia Program started their lead paint elimination project in Bangladesh through ESDO in 2012.

To eliminate lead in paints globally, Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint (GAELP) observes ‘International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week’ every year. The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Environment, was established to raise awareness of the widespread availability of lead paint. IPEN and Partners have taken part in awareness-raising activities and other actions during the Week of Action since 2013. ESDO conducted the dialogue as part of observing International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Bangladesh. The objective of this meeting was to hasten the process of publishing a gazette with standardization of lead content in paint and to enact the regulation to ban lead paint in Bangladesh.

Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO and former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh said, “Although paint manufacturers association supports the regulation in this regard, it can’t be implemented until or unless government take immediate initiative. It is high time the government enacted the regulation”.

ESDO Secretary General, Dr. Shahriar Hossain said, ” BSTI should be strengthened to immediately publish a gazette”. He added, ” the standard of lead in paint given by WHO should be given much importance”.

Jahora Sikder, Deputy Director (Chemical Division), Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) said, “We are on the verge of a gazette to limit lead content to 90 ppm in paint of Bangladesh. Now it is a matter of time to reach our common goal”.

Mahmood Hasan Khan, Former Director (AQM), Department of Environment (DoE) praised ESDO’s tremendous effort towards lead-free paint and said, “The standard parameters should be based on country perspective instead of being biased by other factors. So, in Bangladesh paint should be completely lead free”.

Md Saidur Rahman Khan, Senior Assistant Secretary and Deputy Programme Manager, Health Economics Unit, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said, “Bangladesh government welcomes ESDO’s multi-dimensional activities towards creating Bangladesh lead free.” He focused on continuous policy lobbying to enact a regulation on ban of lead paint in Bangladesh.

Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO expressed that ESDO hopes that government will immediately take proper steps to ban lead in paint. She also said “We are now observing this week but we are hoping to celebrate it in near future”. She thanked everyone who participated at the dialogue.

 

For More information,

 Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Phone: 01711545066

Email: shahriar25@gmail.com

Afrida Nazibah

Phone: 01557019412

 

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Mercury Free Dentistry Being Encouraged Through Awarding a Dental College in Chittagong

November 29, 2017

Dhaka 28, November, 2017: A plaque of appreciation was awarded to Chattagram International Dental College and Hospital for practicing mercury free dentistry in Bangladesh as a part of the vibrant global campaign to ban mercury in dentistry. The award giving ceremony and also an open forum was jointly organized by Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO and Bangladesh Dental Society-BDS in association with Asian Center for Environmental Health and World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry at Chattgram International Dental College and Hospital on 28 November, 2017.

Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO, Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Executive Vice President of World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry and Secretary General of ESDO, Dr. Abul Kashem, President of BDS, Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, Secretary General of BDS, Prof. Dr. Muslim Uddin, Principal of Chattagram International Dental College along with the faculties of the college were present at the ceremony. The award ceremony was attended by prominent dentists and academicians.

In line with the mercury free dentistry initiatives of ESDO and BDS in Bangladesh Mandy Dental College, Pioneer Dental College, and Update Dental College were awarded for practicing mercury free dentistry earlier. More and more dentists are practicing mercury free dentistry being aware of the health and environmental impact of mercury dental amalgam. Great progresses are being made in Bangladesh due to the joint initiatives of Bangladesh Dental Society and Civil Society and this continuous trend of being mercury free among the dental colleges will help achieving the goals of global campaign.

Syed Marghub Murshed said, “I appreciate the way Chattagram International Dental College has approached towards a mercury free dentistry. Their efforts are praiseworthy. I hope Chattagram International Dental College will act as a role model for other dental colleges in Chittagong.”

Dr. Shahriar Hossain congratulated Chattagram International Dental College and said “European Union (EU) has already banned the use of mercury amalgam in dentistry. Many countries are on the way to ban mercury. But we are still far from achieving our goal. We should work hand in hand to fix this problem as soon as possible.”

Dr. Abul Kashem, President of BDS said, “From the very beginning BDS is working closely with ESDO for establishing mercury free dentistry in Bangladesh. Only the combined effort of all the dentists, academicians and practitioners, dental association and civil society workers can lead to a complete phase out of mercury from dentistry.”

Commenting on the award Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, Secretary General of BDS Said, “We are glad to institute this award which honors the endeavour of dentists to achieve mercury free dentistry. We aim at phase out of mercury completely from dentistry by 2018 and I hope CIDC will encourage other dental colleges to practice mercury free dentistry”.

Prof. Dr. Muslimuddin Sabuj, “This award ceremony is a great opportunity for our dentists to come together to discuss, network and celebrate the achievement of Chattagram International Dental College. I thank BDS and ESDO from the core of my heart to give CIDC such warm appreciation and at the same time congratulate all the dentists and faculties of CIDC”

The overall goal of the award ceremony and the meeting was to make the dentists and academicians informed of the international movement of Mercury-Free Dentistry. The Specific objectives were to inspire and encourage other dental colleges and dentists to stop using mercury in dentistry for the sake of human health and environmental protection, to promote the benefits and access of non-mercury dental restorative filling materials, to spread the message of the necessity of development of alternatives friendly curriculum and study material that facilitate the subsequent phase out of amalgam related technology and practices.

Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials such as poster, bookmark, sticker, booklet etc. on ‘mercury free dentistry’ were distributed among the participants to disseminate the information in order to create awareness about the issue among them.

For More information,

Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Phone: 01711545066

Email: shahriar25@gmail.com


A new way of campaign for Mercury-free dentistry: Mobile Campaign in Bangladesh

November 26, 2017

Dhaka, 23 November, 2017: Youth showed a new method of campaign called “Mobile Campaign” on mercury free dentistry in Bangladesh today. To phase out Mercury amalgam use in dentistry and save children and child bearing mother  from the harmful effect Mercury was the main motive of the Mobile Campaign. Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO team and Young Dentists moved different areas of Dhaka including some crowded place in Mirpur, Mahammadpur, Shyamoli and let mass people know about the harmful implication of dental amalgam. World alliance for Mercury free dentistry and Asian Center for Environmental Health supported the Mobile Campaign.

The main purpose of the Mobile Campaign is to draw Govt. attention to ban Mercury from Dentistry and to create awareness among the mass people about the harmful effect of Mercury. The Mobile Campaign gets a very good response from the general people. They express their willingness to know about the effects of using Mercury in dental amalgam and after knowing they demand to ban Mercury. ESDO has been working on banning mercury from dentistry since 2010. ESDO’s major strategy for establishing mercury-free dentistry in Bangladesh is to conduct community mobilizing and awareness raising campaigns. ESDO makes people aware of the negative effects of mercury amalgam and keeps them updated by arranging social media campaigns, mobile campaigns and awareness raising campaigns in educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities. Several workshops have been and are being conducted by ESDO, involving dental professionals, dentists, academicians, government representatives, and other relevant stakeholders

Mercury is a known neurotoxin that can cause harm to humans, especially children, pregnant women and fetuses. It causes Skin cancer and kidney damage, Damage the brain, kidneys, immune system of children, Neurological problems, Hair falls out, Damage in health tissue cell etc. Furthermore, the use of dental amalgam results in substantial quantities of toxic mercury released annually into the environment.  At the end of the event, General people, Students, Doctors expressed their willingness to work and assist ESDO and BDS to ensure mercury free dentistry and ultimately a mercury free environment. The main aim of such kind of activities of ESDO and BDS is to complete phase out of Mercury from dentistry within 2018.

 

For More information:

Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Secretary General, ESDO

Phone: 02 912-2729

E-mail: shahriar25@gmail.com, info@esdo.org


Human Chain at National Press Club Demanded Ban on Lead Paints

October 28, 2017

Dhaka 28, October, 2017: On the eve of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week-2017 (22 to 28 October) a huge crowd of youths demanded ban of lead paint production in Bangladesh. Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO in association with IPEN organized the human chain and a rally under the theme ‘Learn the Risks, Educate Community and Ban Lead Paint’ in front of the National Press Club on 28th October to ban lead paint in Bangladesh by 2018 and to phase out lead containing paints globally by 2020.

The human chain was formed by around 80 girls guide members along with 20 youths of ESDO Green Club. These teenagers were from various Bangla and English medium schools, colleges and universities who joined the campaign to demand for a ban on lead paint. They said that they don’t want to live in a leaded environment any more.

Lead paint is a major source of potential lead poisoning for young children. The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Environment, was established to raise awareness of the widespread availability of lead paint. IPEN and Partners have taken part in awareness-raising activities and other actions during the Week of Action since 2013.

ESDO has been working for a specific regulation of lead free paint in Bangladesh and thus, has been conducting policy advocacy since 2010. In line with this ESDO has conducted study, paint sample analyses, awareness campaign and ultimately prepared a draft regulatory frame wrok and submitted it to Department of Environment (DoE). ESDO look forward to achieve a toxic free future through a complete regulation on lead paint in Bangladesh.

“It’s essential for our society to respond to this global challenge and make the phase out of lead in paint 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,” said by Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Secretary General of ESDO at the human chain.

WHO considers lead as one of the ten chemicals of major public concern has and stated “there is no safe level of exposure to lead.” “Lead paint is a serious threat to the long-term health of our children. Yet lead paint is still on sale in many countries and is used to decorate homes and schools. WHO calls on all countries to phase out lead paint by 2020 to protect the health of this and future generations”, said Dr. Maria Neira Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization

At the recently-concluded International Conference on Chemicals Management, government, industry, and civil society delegates from over 130 countries affirmed the global consensus to eliminate lead paint by 2020. The multi-stakeholder conference is the implanting body of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which is managed by UNEP. Lead in paint was banned and eliminated from paint in most industrialized countries decades ago, but countries to be widely sold in many developing countries, including Bangladesh.

According to WHO “children are most likely to be exposed to lead from ingestion of flakes and dust from decaying lead-based paint which affects children’s brain development and their measurable level of intelligence (IQ). Children lead exposure is estimated to contribute to 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year.”

The youths at the human chain demanded, “We want to grow up in a toxic free world. We don’t want to live in an environment polluted by heavy toxic like lead. Everyone should know about it and act accordingly to make Bangladesh lead free.”

For More information

Siddika Sultana

Executive Director, ESDO

Phone : 02 912-2729

E-mail : siddika@esdo.org


An Action: A Legislation to Ban Lead Paint

October 26, 2017

Dhaka 26, October, 2017: Government delegations urged for an immediate regulation to ban hazardous lead paint and expressed the necessity to immediately publish the gazette for a standard of 50 ppm lead content in paint. A high level policy dialogue was organized by Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO on Thursday 11:30 AM at ESDO Head Office, Lalmatia, Dhaka.

Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO and former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh presided over the meeting. Government officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Environment (DoE), Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), and  ESDO officials were present at the meeting.

In 2011 a four-year SWITCH-Asia regional project was launched, to decrease production and use of lead paint in different countries including Bangladesh. European Union (EU) Switch Asia Program started their lead paint elimination project in Bangladesh through ESDO in 2012.

To eliminate lead in paints globally, Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint (GAELP) observes ‘International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week’ every year. The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Environment, was established to raise awareness of the widespread availability of lead paint. IPEN and Partners have taken part in awareness-raising activities and other actions during the Week of Action since 2013. ESDO conducted the dialogue as part of observing International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Bangladesh. The objective of this meeting was to hasten the process of publishing a gazette with standardization of lead content in paint and to enact the regulation to ban lead paint in Bangladesh.

Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO and former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh said, “Although paint manufacturers association supports the regulation in this regard, it can’t be implemented until or unless government take immediate initiative. It is high time the government enacted the regulation”.

ESDO Secretary General, Dr. Shahriar Hossain said, ” BSTI should be strengthened to immediately publish a gazette”. He added, ” the standard of lead in paint given by WHO should be given much importance”.

Jahora Sikder, Deputy Director (Chemical Division), Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) said, “We are on the verge of a gazette to limit lead content to 90 ppm in paint of Bangladesh. Now it is a matter of time to reach our common goal”.

Mahmood Hasan Khan, Former Director (AQM), Department of Environment (DoE) praised ESDO’s tremendous effort towards lead-free paint and said, “The standard parameters should be based on country perspective instead of being biased by other factors. So, in Bangladesh paint should be completely lead free”.

Md Saidur Rahman Khan, Senior Assistant Secretary and Deputy Programme Manager, Health Economics Unit, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said, “Bangladesh government welcomes ESDO’s multi-dimensional activities towards creating Bangladesh lead free.” He focused on continuous policy lobbying to enact a regulation on ban of lead paint in Bangladesh.

Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO expressed that ESDO hopes that government will immediately take proper steps to ban lead in paint. She also said “We are now observing this week but we are hoping to celebrate it in near future”. She thanked everyone who participated at the dialogue.

 

For More information,

 Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Phone: 01711545066

Email: shahriar25@gmail.com

Afrida Nazibah

Phone: 01557019412

 


Celebrate “World Environmental Health Day” by Making Dental Amalgam History!

September 27, 2017

Geneva, 26 September 2017 –The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry is celebrating World Environmental Health Day by urging the nations party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury to make dental amalgam history!   It complements the theme of the parties to Minamata, whose theme is “Make mercury history.”

At the first conference of the parties (COP1), the World Alliance launched its new “Make Dental Amalgam History” campaign, a step-by-step plan to phase out the use of dental amalgam.

In its opening statement, presented by president Charlie Brown of the United States, the World Alliance specifically called on nations to take the first step:

“When you return to your home nations, please do as the European Union as done: phase out amalgam for children now.  For one simple reason:  The children of your nation are equally important to the children of Europe.”

Dominique Bally of Cote d’Ivoire, the World Alliance’s vice president for Africa, reports that “The African region is ready to end amalgam use in children, but developed countries continue to dump amalgam into our region.  Sending amalgam for use in African children (and others vulnerable population) is not charity – it’s an environmental health disaster.”

As Dr. Graeme Munro-Hall of the United Kingdom, the World Alliance’s chief dental advisor explains, “There is just no reason to use amalgam in children’s milk teeth – these teeth are less complex, they don’t last long, and there are so many mercury-free fillings available for them.”

Maria Carcamo of Uruguay, the World Alliance’s vice president for Latin America, adds “No child should be subjected to an utterly unnecessary dose of mercury exposure from amalgam.”

The African nation of Mauritius has a policy of no amalgam for children.[i]  The European Union, with 28 member nations, bans amalgam as of 1 July 2018 for children, and for pregnant and nursing women.[ii]  The Scandinavian nations go much further, effectively having ended amalgam use.[iii]

“Many children in developed countries are being protected from amalgam,” says Dr. Shahriar Hossain of Bangladesh, the World Alliance’s executive vice president.  “Now it is time to protect all children from the dental industry’s mercury, including children in developing countries, children in low-income areas of developed countries, and indigenous peoples’ children.”

Dental amalgam, a tooth filling material that is 50% mercury, accounts for 21% of global mercury consumption.[iv] Much of this dental mercury eventually enters the environment via many unsound pathways, polluting (1) air via cremation, dental clinic emissions, and sludge incineration; (2) water via dental clinic releases and human waste; and (3) soil via landfills, burials, and fertilizer.[v]  As a result, many children around the world are exposed to a double dose of amalgam’s mercury: first when it is implanted in their teeth and a second time when it contaminates their environment.

For more information, contact Charles G. Brown at charlie@mercury-free.org or 202-544-6333.

[i]Inventory of Mercury Releases in Mauritania (2014), p. 19

[ii]European Parliament legislative resolution (14 March 2017)

[iii] World Health Organization, Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration (2011), p.21

[iv] UNEP/AMAP, Technical Background Report to the Global Atmospheric Mercury Assessment (2013), p.103.

[v]Concorde East West, The Real Cost of Dental Mercury (March 2012)

 

 


Microplastic is threatening Lives: It is the time to Ban!

September 16, 2017

Dhaka 16, September, 2017: A huge gathering of health and environmental experts, beauty experts and  concerned stakeholders urged the ban of microplastic, especially microbeads in an inception workshop under the theme of “Combating the pollution threat from microplastic litter to save marine health in the Bay of Bengal” to make people aware about the emerging pollution threat from microplastic. The event was organized by Environment and Social development Organization-ESDO at Four Seasons Restaurant, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

The session was chaired by Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO. The guest of honor was Md. Ziaul Haque, Director (AQM), Department of Environment (DoE) and the panelists were Mahmood Hasan Khan, Former Director, DoE;  Dr. Abu Jafar Mahmood, Rtd. Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Dhaka; and Dr. Md. Abul Hashem, Dept. of Chemistry, Jahangirnagar University.

Plastic pollution is a global concern whereas microbeads used in personal care products are one of the largest contributors to this plastic trash. In Bangladesh, microplastics pollution is a new phenomenon and manufacturers and consumers are not aware of the negative impact of microplastic and the microbeads. ESDO is going to kick off the project with an aim to reduce or eliminate use of microplastics in Bangladesh.

According to the study findings of ESDO, three major cities of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet city dwellers release a huge quantity of microbeads every month. 6628.46 billions of microbeads from Dhaka, 1087.18 billion of microbeads from Chittagong and 212.38 billion of microbeads from Sylhet city are dumped in to the water bodies and wetland. The huge microbeads content will highly cost the environment and human health by causing heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancer, obesity in human body, small tears in skin leaving it vulnerable to bacteria and by accumulating toxic contaminants – persistent organic pollutants.

Experts in the meeting said, Mirobeads are plastic particles less than 1mm in size that can be spherical or irregular in shape and produced in a multitude of colors. The types of plastic most commonly used as microbeads are: polyethylene (PE), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP).Sewage treatment plants are not equipped to remove particles that are

small. Fish can confuse them as eggs or zooplankton and accidentally ingest them, which ultimately end up in human bodies. Microbeads being small in size have a large surface area by volume. As a result, they accumulate toxic contaminants. Consumption of these toxic chemicals may cause liver toxicity and disrupt the endocrine system. Microbeads in beauty products and toothpaste can be harmful to skin and teeth accordingly.

In response to question from a journalist, Syed Murshed said, there is no evidence of microbead’s usefulness, rather it is a serious health and environment polluting agent. He said that we need to address this issue with high priority to protect our ecosystem, wildlife and human health.

Md. Ziaul Haque said, globally anti-plastic campaign has started in a wide magnitude whreas Bangladesh has not made such progress so far. It is high time to sort out the microplastic added products and to move forward with the solution thereby.

Secretary General of ESDO and ecosystem expert Dr. Shahriar Hossain informed that the marine species are unable to distinguish between food and microplastics and therefore indiscriminately feed on microbeads. These sea foods are regularly consumed by humans. This is the way microbeads will start accumulating in the food chain, transferring from species to species, with consequences ultimately to humans. Dr. Shahriar said, toxic chemicals added to plastic during the manufacturing process (such as plasticizers and flame retardants) leach out of plastic in the small to large water bodies, wetlands and the marine environment and poses serious threats to marine fauna.

Amongst other, Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO, were there to share her opinion about the importance of the regulation to limit the content of microbeads in our daily personal care products. The ESDO team of experts said, the horrifying truth is that we don’t know how much of this plastic junk is despoiling our rivers, wetlands and the sea and no one know the toll it is taking of wildlife and people. Tiny plastic beads in everything from personal care and cleaning products to toothpaste are poisoning our river and sea to oceans and threatening health. It’s time for them to be outlawed.

ESDO urge the government of Bangladesh and the people to come forward and raise the voice to “ban microbeads”. They stressed for mass public awareness, immediate ban of microbeads   containing products, stop production, sale and import of microbeads containing products and legislation to ban the use of microplastic and microbeads in Bangladesh.

At the end of the event, all the invited experts, academicians, beauticians, concerned stakeholders and consumers expressed their willingness to support ESDO’s initiatives in addressing the microplastic pollution and thus ensuring a toxic free environment.

For More information,

Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Phone: 01711545066

Email: shahriar25@gmail.com


Elite Paint Receives First Lead Safe Paint® Certification in Bangladesh

August 29, 2017

Dhaka, 29.08.17: Elite Paint is the first paint company in Bangladesh to achieve Lead Safe Paint® certification. The news was announced publicly through a press briefing organized by Elite Paint and Chemical Industries at  Begum Sufia Kamal Public Library on 29 August, 2017 in Dhaka. The certification program, established in 2015 by the international non-profit  IPEN, was created to let customers know that the paints they are purchasing contains less than a total concentration of 90 parts per million (ppm) lead – the strictest regulatory standard for lead content in paint established by any government anywhere in the world.

Paints from Elite Paint were certified by leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS), the program’s exclusive certification body in Bangladesh. SCS’ independent analysis confirmed that paint brands from the company contained less than a total of 90 ppm lead. As a result, Elite Paint is licensed to use the Lead Safe Paint® certification mark on their paint can labels and other promotional materials. Using this mark will provide consumers with confidence that these paints will protect their families from the hazard of lead exposure.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “lead paint is one of the largest sources of exposure to lead in children.” Lead exposure during early childhood years has been linked to an increased likelihood of impaired cognition and executive function, impulsiveness, aggression and delinquent behavior. Brain damage caused by chronic, low-level exposure to lead is irreversible and untreatable, so reducing lead exposure is an important worldwide health issue.

“Elite Paint is proud to”said Mozahar Hossain,  Director (Operation) and Head of Management Committee of Elite Paint. “We strive to make our paint products environmentally friendly and our next target is to produc VOC (Volatile Organic Carbon) free paint.”

“Phase out of lead paint is essential for our society. We must act with urgency as the health of our children can be permanently and irreversibly damaged even at very low exposure to lead” said Syed Margub Murshed, Former Secretary, Government of Bangladesh and chairperson of ESDO. “Elite Paint has proved that paints can be produced in a manner that will not pose health and environmental hazards, and that paint companies in Bangladesh are in a position to shift to non-lead raw materials. I believe, success of Elite Paint in securing Lead Safe Paint® certification will hasten the issuance of the country’s much-awaited lead paint regulation,” he added.

“Since 2008, ESDO is working to phase out the use of lead in paint manufacturing. We have done researh and public awareness campaign in this regard. Amongst all paint manufacturing industries in Bangladesh, we have found Elite Paint as the most enthausiastic in producing lead free paint. It is the pride of Elite paint as well as the whole country that , they have succeded to produce all of their paints  with less than 90ppm lead content”,said Siddika Sultana, Executive Director of ESDO.

“Paints with high levels of lead continue to be sold in many countries in the world. We commend Elite Paint for seeking Lead Safe Paint® certification and voluntarily committing to producing lead safe paint products. We encourage other companies and brand leaders around the world to join Elite Paint and seek certification” said Sara Brosché, IPEN.

Nicole Muñoz, Managing Director for SCS Global services stated, “Elite Paint’s Lead Safe Paint® certification demonstrates the growing global demand for safer paint products. SCS is proud to partner with IPEN and work with leading brands to expand this program and make lead safe paint available for wider consumer use.”

Amongst other, A.K.M. Mohibullah, G.M. Sales; Harunur Rashid, Senior GM Sales and Marketing of Elite Paint was present in the event.

Lead Safe Paint® is an independent, third party certification program that verifies paints contain less than 90 parts per million (ppm) total lead (dry weight)—the strictest mandatory regulatory standard for lead content in paint established in e.g., the United States, the Philippines, Nepal, and India. A 90-ppm standard is achievable when a manufacturer avoids the use of lead pigments and driers in its products and when reasonable care is given to avoid the use of ingredients that are contaminated or falsely labeled. More information is available at www.leadsafepaint.org.
About IPEN

IPEN is a global non-government organization (NGO) with participating organizations in more than 100 countries working for a toxics free future. It has conducted studies of lead in paint in more than 50 countries and is a member of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint Advisory Group. It is also the Scheme Owner for the Lead Safe Paint® standard and certification mark. For information, visit www.ipen.org.

 About Elite Paint

Elite Paint, founded in 1952, was the first ever paint company to have been established in Bangladesh. Since its inception, the company has grown to become one of the country’s leading paint brands, synonymous with quality, success and luxury. For information, visit http://www.elitepaint.com.bd/.

 About SCS Global Services

SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than 30 years. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. SCS is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its corporate commitment to creating a material positive impact on society and the environment, and 2016 recipient of the Acterra Award for Sustainability.  For information, visit www.scsglobalservices.com.

 For More Information                     

JeielGuarino, IPEN, +46317995930, jeielguarino@ipen.org

Sara Brosché, IPEN, +46 31 7995900, sarabrosche@ipen.org
Nicole Muñoz, SCS Global Services, +1 510 452 8031, nmunoz@SCSglobalservices.com

&

Siddika Sultana

Executive Director, ESDO

Phone: 02 912-2729

E-mail:info@esdo.org

 

 


Mercury Pollution Costs Billions in Lost Earning Potential in Bangladesh New analysis finds significant mercury exposures near sources named in the Minamata Convention

July 6, 2017

Dhaka, 8 June, 2017: Communities in Bangladesh stand to lose 8 to 144 million taka in earning potential every year due to mercury contamination, according to a new study published in The Journal of Environmental Management.1 The report is the first peer-reviewed analysis to estimate economic losses due to IQ damage from mercury pollution in Bangladesh and 14 other countries. The study evaluated mercury concentrations in hair samples from 236 participants from 17 sites in 15 countries. These study findings were disclosed through a press conference arranged by Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO in association with IPEN and BRI on 8 June, 2017 at ESDO head office, Lalmatia, Dhaka.

Researchers from Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO, a non-government organization of Bangladesh contributed to the global study, collecting hair samples from participants living in Dhaka, which has a hazardous waste landfill and high capacity cement kilns, sources specifically named in the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which obligates governments to take actions to minimize and eliminate mercury pollution to protect human health and the environment. The landfill is situated close to a river and residential area and contains a mixture of industrial, medical and municipal waste. The cement kilns are also located along a river with a combined production capacity of 7400 metric tons per day.

“This study gives us just a small sample of the extent of the damage that is happening throughout similar sites in Bangladesh. The high cost of mercury contamination should trigger actions to address pollution sources in our country.” says Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Secretary General of ESDO. “The Minamata Convention needs to be ratified and fully implemented to prevent lost earning potential Dhaka and other communities in the Bangladesh. On May 18th, the Convention reached the 50-country ratification milestone and will become international law August 16th.’’

“Government initiatives to hasten the ratification and implementation of Minamata convention has become an urge,’’ says Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO.

Mercury levels in hair from participants in the Dhaka area ranged from 0.20 parts per million (ppm) to 2.68 ppm.  More than one fifth of the participants had levels greater than a 0.58 ppm standard, the reference dose that has been proposed in light of data suggesting harmful effects of mercury at low levels of exposure.

Mercury exposure damages the nervous system, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. Developing organ systems, such as the fetal nervous system, are the most sensitive the toxic effects of mercury, although nearly all organs are vulnerable. Human exposure to mercury occurs primarily through the consumption of contaminated fish, although rice and direct exposure to mercury vapor can also be sources.

References

1Trasande L, DiGangi J, Evers D, Petrlik J, Buck D, Samanek J, Beeler B, Turnquist MA, Regan K (2016) Economic implications of mercury exposure in the context of the global mercury treaty: hair mercury levels and estimated lost economic productivity in selected developing countries, Journal of Environmental Management 183:229 – 235, doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.08.058 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27594689

 2Daily intake below the Reference Dose is assumed to be without appreciable risk of harmful effects during a lifetime.

Hair samples for the study were collected through a standardized hair sampling protocol by public interest organizations in the IPEN network in participating countries.  Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) Mercury Laboratory provided the analysis of the samples.

Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO is an independent and non-profit research and public policy lobbying organization dedicated to the conservation of bio-diversity, toxic free world through working to achieve environmental and social justice since 1990. The mission of ESDO is to promote and encourage an environmental movement through a participatory democratic framework involving diverse social groups, and to assist them with ideas, information, and leadership for promoting a safe and sustainable environment.

IPEN is a network of non-government organizations working in more than 100 countries to reduce and eliminate the harm to human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.

Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) is a nonprofit ecological research group whose mission is to assess emerging threats to wildlife and ecosystems through collaborative research, and to use scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and inform decision makers.

For More information:

Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Secretary General, ESDO

Cell Phone: +880-1711545066

E-mail: shahriar25@gmail.com


Hidden Health Hazard in Non-stick Cookware

May 27, 2017

Dhaka, May 25, 2017: Use of  non-stick pots and pans on a daily basis, means exposure to hidden  dangers. Non- stick cookware is made using a carcinogenic chemical which starts emitting toxic fumes that one  inhale every time while cooking  with a non-stick pot!  Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO disclosed these findings through their study report entitled, “Uses of Non-stick Utensils and Associated Health and Environmental Impacts”. Syed Marghub Murshed, former Secretary and Chairperson of  ESDO  launched the study report at the press briefing yesterday at its head office in Dhaka.

Non-Stick cookware is the name of one of those technologies, that make our daily life comfortable and easy. But it can act as a threat to our health and environment. Cooking in non-stick cookware allows food to get brown without sticking to the pan. It requires least amount of oil for cooking. According to the study, the non-stick surface is coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commercially known as Teflon. When the cookware is over heated it releases Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOAs). PFOA has been labeled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogenic.

In response to question from journalist, Abu Jafor Mahmood, Superannuated Professor of Department of Chemistry, DU, said  “It is responsible for severe illness such as cancer, hormonal imbalance, birth defect in new babies, polymer fume fever in human and can kill birds. This toxic element is also released during manufacturing process and possesses risk to workers, especially female workers. Because female organs are vulnerable to this toxic element. It can be exposed to their body and cause harm to the babies through infecting the fetus”.

In Bangladesh, housewives, children and pet animals are becoming the greatest victim of  the poisonous gas release from it because of the increased use of non-stick cookware. According to ESDO’s recent survey, in Dhaka city, women of all ages are getting affected by this pollution. Among 450 women, about 421 are suffering from the problem of kidney and asthma. Among 378 women about 25 to 35 women are suffering from pregnancy related problem. Among children, about 310 are suffering from the problem of kidney and asthma. In case of households, (who  keep pet animals), according to the survey result , about 211 pet animals died with 6 months. This primary survey is showing this kind of destructive  picture, which is a threat to our future generation.

In a pursuit to make non-stick coating manufacturing safer, industry officials of developed countries have made pledges to limit the use of PFOA and eventually phase it out of all production methods. But, there is no initiative on this issue in Bangladesh. Ceramics and stainless steel are considered non-reactive and can be used as alternative to non-stick cook ware.

In response to question from a journalist, Syed Marghub Murshed said, toxic pollutant in non-stick cooking utensils is a new phenomenon in Bangladesh but it can act as a serious health and environmental threat. He said that, we need to address this issue with high priority to protect our ecosystem, wildlife and human health.

Secretary General of ESDO and ecosystem expert Dr. Shahriar Hossain informed that,  non-stick cookware is not the main problem. Our main concern is the toxic chemical used to manufacture it. When toxic compound like Teflon is being used in non stick coating, it becomes a threat to both health and environment. Teflon releases toxic fumes while cooking. “Incineration of Teflon wastes produces different toxic gases like PFOA, Trifluroacetic acid (TFA), which get released into the atmosphere. PFOA and TFA  are very persistent, take  literally millions of years to biodegrade. All these toxic gases go into air, water, soil and pollute them. Water bodies near the manufacturing industries get readily polluted by the toxic discharges. High concentrations of TFA in water can be toxic to plants. When TFA enters the atmosphere, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) break down and it exits in rainwater. We really cannot imagine that  how  long-term the  environmental impacts can be!”, he added.

Amongst other, Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO, were there to share their opinion about the importance of  regulation to limit the use of Teflon in manufacturing non-stick products.   Afrida Nazibah, researcher of this study, presented the findings and related information of the study at the event.

ESDO urge the government of Bangladesh and the people to come forward and raise the voice to enact legislation to phase out the use of Teflon in the manufacturing of non-stick cookware. They stressed formass public awareness for  immediate ban of Teflon containing products, stop production, sale and import of them.

For More information,

Nishat Ferdousi

Program Associate (Media & Communication)

Phone: 01557019412

 


Dentists and Government Representatives Demanded to Phase Out Mercury from Dentistry by 2018

May 10, 2017

Dhaka, 6 May, 2017: Dentists, dental professionals, Government representatives and environmental leaders urged  the Government for phasing out mercury from dentistry sector by 2018. Yesterday  at a workshop, they demanded to take immediate step regarding this issue. Bangladesh Dental Society(BDS) and Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO in association with Asian Center for Environmental Health  organized this workshop entitled, “Mercury Free Dentistry: Way Forward”  at Four Seasons Restaurant, Dhanmondi at 12.00 pm.

The session was chaired by Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of  ESDO. Charles G Brown, head of the American National Counsel of Consumers for Dental Choice and President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, was the Special Guest of the program.

Mr. Charlie Brown, is the pioneer to address environmental and health risk by mercury dental amalgam and the key personality of the global campaign for “Mercury-Free Dentistry”. He is passionate about the Environmental health and welfare of the Bangladeshi people. He is  a graduate of Yale Law School. He was twice elected as the Attorney General of the state of West Virginia, and he has argued a case before the US Supreme Court. Mr. Brown

Experts in the meeting said, Dental amalgam is a filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It is the known health risk for children, pregnant women, nursing infants and people with impaired kidney function. Due to mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, dentists, students, the technician and patients may suffer from the problems of elevated mercury level in blood. Amalgam pollutes air, water and soil via dental clinic release. Many alternatives such as glass ionomers, resin composites are now available.

In 2013, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)’s Intercessional Negotiating Committee formalized a global, legally-binding mercury treaty named “Minamata Convention on Mercury” which has now been signed by over 128 countries, including the U.S.  Bangladesh is signatory to the Minamata Convention.

“I urge the Government to implement law against the dental amalgam in order to protect mass health and environment from Mercury pollution” said Mr. Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, Govt. of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO .

Amongst other Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, Secretary General, BDS; Dr. A.K.M. Shariful Islam, Vice President, BDS; Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Secretary General; Siddika Sultana, Executive Director of ESDO; Executive members of BDS and dental professionals were present at the meeting.

At the end of the event, all the invited dental professionals, Government representetives expressed their willingness to work and assist ESDO and BDS to ensure mercury free dentistry and ultimately a mercury free environment.

 

For More information:

Nishat Ferdousi

Program Associate, ESDO

Phone: 02 912-2729

E-mail:info@esdo.org

 


Swedish MP Meet ESDO team: Emphasized on Environmental Pollution in Bangladesh

February 8, 2017

Dhaka 6, February, 2017: Two members Swedish Parliament Delegation meets with Environment and Social Development Organization team today at its office in Dhaka. They discussed on different environmental issues and emphasized on environmental pollution in Bangladesh, particularly e-waste pollution, traffic and urban pollution. Mr. Johns Holm and Ms. Nooshi Dadgoster,  Member of Swedish Parliament meet ESDO team as part of their five day visiting Bangladesh.

Swedish left party member Mr. Johns Holm said, we are now in a serious environmental degradation era and need to work together to protect our planet Earth. He said Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable country for environmental pollution and population. So to achieve sustainable development goalsthese two issues in Bangladesh is most challenging. Mr. Holm appreciate and encourage ESDO initiatives on chemical management and particularly successful campaign on e-waste, plastic pollution and lead free painting in Bangladesh and the region.

ESDO chairperson and former secretary Govt. of Bangladesh Syed MarghubMourshed welcomed the Swedish parliamentary delegation. He expressed gratitude and thanks to the delegation, and said as we have a long relationship with Sweden and better understanding,we can achieve SDGs goal and the challenges together. Syed Mourshedurge for knowledge, technology transfer and funding for people centered environmental initiatives.

Amongst others Mohibul Ezdani khan, County Counselor,  Stockholm county council; Professor  Abu JaforMahmood,Department of Chemistry, University of Dhaka; Dr.NazmulAhsanKolimullah, Pro-VC, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP); Professor Dr.Md. AbulHashem, Department of Chemistry, Jahangirnagar University.  Dr. ShahriarHossain, Secretary General of ESDO, Siddika Sultana, Executive Director of ESDO represented their work, knowledge  and opinion on the above mentioned issues in Bangladesh.

About ESDO work:

Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO is the pioneering organization of plastic (polythene) bag ban; and also the pioneer of e-waste, lead free paint, mercury-free dentistry and chemical management and POPs issues in Bangladesh and South Asia.

E-waste has become the fastest growing waste stream in Bangladesh. Every year  Bangladesh generates roughly 2.7 million metric tons of e-waste.  Since 2011, ESDO has been working on E-waste management program with the support of the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), under the auspices of the International SAICM Implementation Project (ISIP). ESDO has done many awareness and education program regarding this issue. It has conducted a survey in 2009 to 2010 to determine the volume of e-waste generated by a nominated six `E-waste’ products which include the televisions, computers, mobile phones, CFL bulbs, medical equipment and dental equipment. ESDO is still working on E-waste advocacy for formulation of national policy and management guideline in Bangladesh.

For more information:

Siddika Sultana
Executive Director
Tel: 912-2729
e-mail: siddika@esdo.org

 


ESDO and BDS Proposed Changes Dental School Curriculum

January 16, 2017

Dhaka 12, January 2017: Mercury dental amalgam is the major source of mercury toxicity in health and environment. Many developed countries are now switching to safer alternatives. Yesterday at a round table meeting in Dhaka Professionals and environmental experts emphasized the need of education and hand on knowledge of mercury free alternatives for the next generation of dentists. They urged the authority to exclude dental amalgam from dental school curriculum and to adopt mercury-free alternatives. Bangladesh Dental Society-BDS and Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO jointly organized the meeting.

Experts in the meeting on “Dental Collage Curriculum Revision and Adoption” say, Amalgam emits    mercury vapor when it is implanted into the body. It crosses the placenta, accumulates in the fetus and cause serious damage. Mercury dental amalgam is the known health risk for children, pregnant women, nursing infants and people with impaired kidney function. Due to mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, dentists, students, the technician and patients may suffer from the problems of elevated mercury level in blood. Amalgam pollutes air, water and soil via dental clinic release. Experts describe that once mercury is released into the environment, it gets converted into more toxic methylmercury. It acts as the major source of mercury pollution in fishes we eat. Many alternatives such as glass ionomers, resin composites are now available. The harmful impact of dental amalgam and the necessity of using alternatives is not yet involved in the dental school curriculum of Bangladesh.

Mr. Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, Govt. of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO recommended the need of medical and dental council (BMDC) initiative to change and adoption of dental education curricula. He urged the professionals and dentists to come forward and work hand in hand to eliminate mercury from dental care and education.

BDS President Prof. Abul Kashem said, we need to take joint initiative to revise the current dental    curriculum and adopt a new chapter of alternatives of mercury amalgam. He said its our duty and responsibility to protect public health from mercury pollution.

Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Executive Vice President of World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry also attended the meeting, he highlited to World Alliance initiatives of mercury-free dentistry and Minamata Convention ratification and implementation process.

Amongst other Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, Secretary General, BDS; Siddika Sultana, Executive Director of ESDO; Executive members of BDS and dental professionals involved in dental curriculum were present at the meeting.

At the end of the event, all the invited dental professionals expressed their willingness to work and assist ESDO and BDS to ensure mercury free dentistry and ultimately a mercury free environment.

For More information:

 Nishat Ferdousi

Program Associate, ESDO

Phone: 02 912-2729

E-mail:info@esdo.org

 


Activist group demanded ban lead paint in Bangladesh by 2017

November 2, 2016

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.

For More information

Nusrat Sharmin

Program Associate, ESDO

Phone: 02 912-2729

E-mail:nusrat@esdo.org

 


Children urge to ban lead paint by 2017

November 2, 2016

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.

For More information
Nusrat Sharmin
Program Associate, ESDO
Phone: 02 912-2729
E-mail:nusrat@esdo.org


Microbeads: A Serious Health and Environmental Risk to Bangladesh

October 17, 2016

Dhaka 15, October, 2016: Many leading brands are using tiny plastic microbeads as exfoliating and cleansing ingredient in their personal care products such as face wash, scrub, and toothpaste. Around 7928.02 billion microbeads go to the rivers, canals and other water bodies in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet cities in every month. A study report entitled “Microbeads! Unfold Health Risk and Environmental Pollutant” revealed the information about these health and environment threatening pollutants. Environment and Social Development Organization –ESDO published the study report in a press briefing yesterday in Dhaka. Syed Marghub Murshed, former Secretary of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO disclosed the report.

Alarming information was found that three major cities of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet city dwellers release a huge quantity of microbeads every month. 6628.46 billions of microbeads from Dhaka, 1087.18 billion of microbeads from Chittagong and 212.38 billion of microbeads from Sylhet city are dumped in to the water bodies and wetland. The huge microbeads content will highly cost the environment and human health by causing heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancer, obesity in human body, small tears in skin leaving it vulnerable to bacteria and by accumulating toxic contaminants – persistent organic pollutants.

Mirobeads are plastic particles less than 1mm in size that can be spherical or irregular in shape and produced in a multitude of colors. The types of plastic most commonly used as microbeads are: polyethylene (PE), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP).Sewage treatment plants are not equipped to remove particles that are small. Fish can confuse them as eggs or zooplankton and accidentally ingest them, which ultimately end up in human bodies. Microbeads being small in size have a large surface area by volume. As a result, they accumulate toxic contaminants. Consumption of these toxic chemicals may cause liver toxicity and disrupt the endocrine system. Microbeads in beauty products and toothpaste can be harmful to skin and teeth accordingly.

 In response to question from a journalist, Syed Murshed said, microbeads is a new phenomenon in Bangladesh but this compound is a serious health and environment polluting agent. He said that we need to address this issue with high priority to protect our ecosystem, wildlife and human health.

ESDO Secretary General and ecosystem expert Dr. Shahriar Hossain informed that the marine species are unable to distinguish between food and microplastics and therefore indiscriminately feed on microbeads. These sea foods are regularly consumed by humans. This is the way microbeads will start accumulating in the food chain, transferring from species to species, with consequences ultimately to humans. Dr. Shahriar said, toxic chemicals added to plastic during the manufacturing process (such as plasticizers and flame retardants) leach out of plastic in the small to large water bodies, wetlands and the marine environment and poses serious threats to marine fauna.

Amongst other, Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO, were there to share their opinion about the importance of the regulation to limit the content of microbeads in our daily personal care products. The ESDO team of experts said, the horrifying truth is that we don’t know how much of this plastic junk is despoiling our rivers, wetlands and the sea and no one know the toll it is taking of wildlife and people. Tiny plastic beads in everything from personal care and cleaning products to toothpaste are poisoning our river and sea to oceans and threatening health. It’s time for them to be outlawed.

ESDO urge the government of Bangladesh and the people to come forward and raise the voice to “ban microbeads”. They stressed for mass public awareness, immediate ban of microbeads   containing products, stop production, sale and import of microbeads containing products and legislation to ban the use of microplastic and microbeads in Bangladesh.

 ESDO team collected and analyzed 60 most popular and commonly used products from different areas of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. Six categories of samples were collected, i.e. Detergent, face Wash, body wash, nail polish, toothpaste, face and body scrub and microbeads were separated from those samples. A questionnaire survey was done on 1800 people to determine the level of awareness among manufacturers and consumers. Among all the products, facewash are found to be mostly used by the consumers. About 95% consumers do not have any idea about the harmful impact of microbeads on health and environment. When they were given the idea of the fate of microbeads, half of them decided to switch from microbeads to safer, natural alternatives. When ESDO study team reached the retailers, they found that about 92% of the retailers are ignorant about this plastic pollutant but 40% said that they will remain conscious about selling those products. To know the level of pollution in water body, about 100 fish samples of 5 species (i.e, Catfish, Rui, Catla, Mrigal, Illish, Sarputi) were collected from the different water bodies of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet and study findings show that larger fishes such as Rui are found to be more contaminated than smaller fishes such as Sarputi. On the other hand, fishes of Dhaka city were found to contain high content of microbeads and the fishes of Sylhet were found to contain least amount of microbeads in their body.

For More information,

Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Phone: 01711545066

Email: shahriar25@gmail.com

 

 


Possible toxicity in brain toys “Rubik’s Cube”

September 7, 2016

Dhaka September 2, 2016–Rubik’s Cube, known as brain game toys; designed to exercise the mind, may contain toxic chemicals from recycled electronic waste, which can damage the central nervous system ironically, reduce children’s intellectual capacity.

The Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO, a watch group on toxic chemicals and wastes, aired this observation following the announcement of the results of a global survey on toxic chemicals in brain toys at a scientific conference on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Firenze, Italyin the last week.

The study, undertaken by IPEN (a global civil society network promoting safe chemicals policies and practices) and Arnika (an environmental organization in the Czech Republic) in association with ESDO and other partner organizations in different countries of the world. The Study showed that samples of Rubik’s Cube-like toys from 16 countries, including Bangladesh, contained toxic polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) called OctaBDE and/or DecaBDE.

Both OctaBDE and DecaBDE are brominated flame retardant chemicals primarily used in plastic casings of electronic products. These chemicals are known to disrupt human hormone systems, adversely impacting the development of the nervous system and children’s intelligence.

Out of the 41 samples of puzzle cubes and six additional samples (thermo cup, hair clip, hand band, finger skateboard, toy robot and hockey stick), as many as 40 samples (85%) contained OctaBDE at concentrations ranging from 1 to 108 parts per million (ppm), while 42 samples (89%) contained DecaBDE, a toxic chemical commonly found in electronic waste, between 1 to 293 ppm. OctaBDE is already banned under the Stockholm Convention on POPs, an international chemical treaty ratified by the Philippine government in 2004, while Deca BDE is expected to be banned when the POPs Review Committee meets on September 2016.

“Puzzle toys similar to Rubik’s Cubes are supposed to promote children’s intelligence, but the presence of brominated flame retardants from recycled e-waste creates the quite the opposite impact on children who play with them. Recycling e-waste can save resources and energy, but it must be done in a way that does not put banned toxic substances back into commerce, which can threaten human health and the environment,” explained Jitka Strakova, Coordinator of the survey from Arnika.

Eight of the twelve samples of Rubik’s Cube imported from China that the Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO bought from retail shopsin Dhaka and shipped to the Czech Republic for laboratory analysis were found to contain significant levels of toxic chemicals such as PBDEs>PBT, BTBPE, OBIND, OctaBDE and/or DecaBDE.

Three of the samples from the Bangladesh tested with the highest concentration of OctaBDE among 47 samples from 16 countries, including the European Union, Eastern European and Southeast Asian countries.

Toxic chemical expert and ESDO Secretary General Dr. Shahriar Hossain said, our initiative is for the toxic free world, so that we urge the government to take initiative to prevent the use of banned chemicals from e-waste in all consumer products, such as toys and child jewellery. He informed due to inadequate chemical safety regulations, it is likely the toxic substances are being Dr. Shahriar said, “For the health of our children and workers, we urge our policy makers to grant no recycling exemption for POPs such OctaBDE and DecaBDE. This dirty recycling, which often takes place in low and middle income countries, is spreading poisons in recycling sites, in our homes and in our bodies”.

In 2009, the Stockholm Convention listed PentaBDE and OctaBDE for global elimination, but the treaty still permits the recycling of materials containing these toxic chemicals until 2030.

“As long as we allow, the recycling exemptions, we will be unable to control the flow of these dangerous flame retardants,” said Joe DiGangi, Senior Science and Technical Advisor of IPEN.

Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO on Friday warned that some toys that are designed to exercise the mind may contain toxic chemicals from recycled electronic waste, which can damage the central nervous system and reduce children’s intellectual capacity.ESDO made known its apprehension following the disclosure of the results of a global survey on toxic chemicals in brain toys at a scientific conference on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Firenze, Italy.

Farther details please contact

Dr. Shahriar Hossain
E-mail: shahriar25@gmail.com
Mobile; 01711545066


Training Workshop on Environmental Health For Journalists Held In Dhaka

September 7, 2016

Dhaka, August 27, 2016: Environmental health is a prime reporting issue; need to be address properly in the news media. Journalists express the need of hands-on knowledge and training of science reporting. Participants and experts share the views at a workshop on Environmental Health and Pollutants: Role of a Journalist organized by Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO in Dhaka yesterday.

The workshop highlighted on the technicality of the toxics chemicals and environmental health issues including, toxic chemicals in everyday life, their effect on health and environment, factors affecting the toxicity of pollutants.

In the workshop participants experienced on the technical no house and source of the pollutants especially hazardous chemical and toxic compounds used in Bangladesh.

As part of building capacity and knowledge on environmental journalism, ESDO in association with Asian Center for Environmental Health organized this workshop. 15 journalists from national print and electronic media took part in this workshop.  Dr. Hossain Shahriar, renowned environmental journalist and toxic chemical expert facilitated the workshop.

Amongst other, former secretary, Government of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO, Syed Marghub Morshed and Executive Director of ESDO, Siddika Sultana shared expert opinion and views in the workshop.

Syed Marghub Murshed said, I think media can play an important role to bring the issues related to environment and human health in front of general people. In order to protect and conserve the environmental health we have to ensure two things that, the general people are properly educated and aware of environmental problems. Through reporting, media can achieve these two aspects. The aim of today’s workshop is to spread these issues among journalists. I strongly believe that, with the help of media we will be able to protect our environment.

In concluding and the certificate giving ceremony, participants expressed their satisfaction and urged ESDO to organize more similar workshop and capacity building training for working journalists.

About ESDO, is a non-profit, non-governmental environmental action and research based organization working since 1990. ESDO focuses on environmental journalism, professional journalism and professional capacity building since since 1995. The major success of ESDO’s initiatives are national ban on polythene shopping bag, domestic waste management policy, national ban on two-stroke vehicle etc.

For More information:

 

Phone: 02 912-2729

E-mail:info@esdo.org


High level of toxin found in Jewellery

August 14, 2016

Dhaka: August 13, 2016: High level of toxic chemicals found in jewelleries in Bangladesh. Children’s jewellery found with high concentration of lead, cadmium and bromine, which is so alarming for human health and environment. A study report on “Toxic Jewellery: High Risk to Health and Environment in Bangladesh’’ disclosed the finding of the high exposure of lead, cadmium, bromine and others toxic compound in jewellery. Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO conducted the study and Syed Marghub Murshed, former Secretary and Chairperson of  ESDO disclosed the result of the study through a press briefing today at its head office in Dhaka.

According to the study report, jewelleries in Bangladesh contain high level of arsenic, lead, titanium, cadmium, nickel, bromine, mercury and zinc. Necklaces and chains were found to contain mercury, while children’s jewellery items were found to contain high levels of Cadmium, Bromine, lead, nickel, arsenic and titanium. Tests showed that most of the earrings contained cadmium and lead in high levels and mercury in medium level. Through the questionnaire survey of the target group, it was found that the current status of awareness level is really low. 70% of regular consumers are not conscious and also most of them which are like 55 % said, some of jewellery causes red rash on skin. Only 15 % of retailers are aware of the use of toxic elements in jewellery which is a rare number of manufacturers. In terms of retailer, producer and importer perception, they are not that much aware about harmful elements in jewellery but they ask for alternative options.

In Bangladesh, no research has been held till date on jewellery and harmful effect of heavy metals used in jewellary. ESDO collected study on adult’s and children’s jewellery accessories including Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Finger rings, Chains, Bangles from shopping malls, retail shops and metal analysis has done in EARTH XRF laboratory in Bangkok.

Syed Marghub Murshed said that, the toxic metals used in jewellery are not only harmful to human health but also to the environment because all these metals find their way to soil and water ultimately and pollute them. Media should come forward in this case to create public awareness and to draw government’s concern. This topic should be enlisted in public agenda, he added.

Among others Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Secretary General of ESDO and Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO were present at the press briefing.

Dr. Shahriar Hossain, discussed about why and how these toxic metals are being used in manufacturing jewellary. He emphasized on the harmful effect of these metal toxicity on children’s heath.

Replying the question of reporter he said, children and adults will have similar health effects if exposed to toxic levels cadmium. Chewing toxic jewellery or drinking with very high cadmium levels severely irritates the stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea, and sometimes death. Dr. Shahriar informed the press that, eating lower levels of cadmium over a long period can lead to kidney damage, and can cause bones to become fragile and break easily. Exposure to cadmium in air has caused lung cancer, and perhaps prostate cancer, in workers.

In different country, people are now becoming concerned about this hazardous effect of toxic contained jewellery. It is high time to take necessary steps to raise this issue in Bangladesh.

Based on the study there are some recommendations for Government, related Agencies, Consumers-

  • Government should formulate an act to ban the import and manufacture of jewellery which contain toxic elements more than the tolerance limit;
  • Concerned authorities should enlist the shops where toxic chemical containing jewelries are found and immediately should take steps against it;
  • Mass awareness should be raised among general consumers of toxic jewelries;
  • Retailers, wholesalers and importers are also needed to be aware and should not bring heavy metal containing jewelries;
  • Media, NGOs and other organizations should come forward for awareness raising campaigns and talk shows for making general people concerned on use of heavy metals in jewellery;
  • Warning label should be put on packets containing such products;
  • Promotion of eco-friendly alternative jewellery or non-toxic material in jewellery can be done;
  • If SMEs of jewellery need technical assistance to produce jewellery without toxic elements, related authority should provide it to them;
  • More comprehensive study is needed;
  • Increase and establishment of laboratory testing facilities in future;
  • Heavy metal containing waste water treatment through using activated sludge.

For More information, please contact;
info@esdo.org or call at 880-2-9122729
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Dr. Shahriar Hossain chosen Executive Vice President, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry

August 2, 2016

Washington D.C., USA, 31 July 2016: The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry has named Dr. Shahriar Hossain of Dhaka to be its Executive Vice President.

Dr. Hossain is a renowned NGO leader, ecologist and environmental journalist in Asia, working for environmental justice and governance more than two decades.  He will stay in Dhaka and continue his leadership roles with Environment & Social Development Organization (ESDO) and the Asian Center for Environmental Health, both NGOs he helped found in 1990 and 2013 respectively.

The old form of dentistry was to use amalgam, a material that is 50% mercury, a neurotoxin and environmental menace.  With an initiative by ESDO, Bangladeshi dentists, dental schools, NGOs, and government are working to transition the nation to nontoxic dental materials such as composite and ionomers.

Since it burst onto the scene in 2010, the World Alliance has steadily expanded its global mission, and now has programs in every region.  With the decision to create a Secretariat in Washington D.C. and an alternative Secretariat in Dhaka, and to add Focal Persons in up to 50 nations, it was time to expand the leadership structure.

Charlie Brown, president of the World Alliance, said, “There is no better NGO leader in the world.  It will be an honor to work aside Shahriar as our new Executive Vice President, as we work to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury.”

Dominque Bally of Côte d’Ivoire, founder of the African Center for Environmental Health, said. “Shahriar Hossain is well known in Africa for his work against toxins and for better environment for all.  This appointment will be very well received in my region.”

Dr. Hossain said: “In this role I intend to accelerate the movement to mercury-free dentistry, especially across Asia and Africa, and in Latin America as well.  This role will provide more exposure for Bangladesh as a leader in the fight against mercury and other toxins in our environment.”

The Minamata Convention on Mercury, signed by well over 100 nations, will become legally binding when 50 nations ratify it.  It represents a worldwide consensus that action must begin now to rid our planet of anthropogenic (man-made) uses of mercury.  In Annex A-II it provides a road map for a transition to mercury-free dentistry.

With its Secretariat in Washington, the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry has a worldwide network with 9 regional vice presidents and NGO representatives in 40 nations.  Led by professionals in dentistry, medicine, ecology, engineering, journalism, and law, it works in partnership with the UN Environmental Programme and governments to implement the transition to mercury-free, amalgam-free dentistry.  In Bangladesh, for example, the World Alliance has hosted a national stakeholder conference in Dhaka (2012), a health professionals summit in Chittagong (2014), and a South Asian regional NGO summit in Dhaka (2014).

For more information, contact

—Charlie Brown, Washington, charlie@mercury-free.org, Tel: [1] 202544 6333; or

—Shahriar Hossain, Dhaka, shahriar25@gmail.com, Tel: +880-1711545066


Asian Governments should come forward to End Use of Mercury Amalgam

June 27, 2016

Dhaka, 27 June 2016- Asian countries, which are in particular danger of bearing the health brunt of using mercury amalgam in dentistry, have made some progress in phasing out the use of mercury, but their governments still need to be more active in ending the mercury use, environmentalists and experts said at a workshop in Bangkok on 31 May, 2016.

The event, a two-day workshop on successful strategies to promote mercury-free dentistry, began on 31 May and continued to 1 June, 2016 at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.

The workshop was jointly organised by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, in collaboration with Environment and Social Development Organisation (ESDO) and Asian Center for Environmental Health (ACEH).

Addressing the workshop, Dr. Desiree Raquel Montecillo Narvaez, Program Officer of UNEP Chemical and Waste Branch, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics; Geneva, Switzerland, said many governments are still resistant to this issue. “They should take the lead in phasing out the use of mercury,” she said. “Around 25% of the global population lives in Asia, so this region is very important as it is a major stakeholder. So Asian governments have to come forward in this regard,’’ she added.

“Many of the countries in Asia have moved dramatically, but they still have a long way to go to phase out mercury use from dental practice,” said Charles G. Brown, President of World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.

“Now it is high time to devise specific strategies for each country to implement the Minamata Convention and phase out mercury from dentistry,” he said.

Mr. Henk Verbeek, senior administrative officer, regional director and representative, a.i.

united nations environment programme for asia and the pacific, UNEP said goals have been set and it is time to achieve those goals. “We have to promote clinically effective, affordable and environment-friendly alternatives of mercury to achieve the goal of mercury-free dentistry,” he said at the opening session of the event.

Tomoko Furusawa, programme specialist at United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Bangkok office, said the UNDP is helping Asian countries to undertake an initial assessment of mercury use to determine the national requirement for the ratification of Minamata Convention and establish a national foundation to undertake future work towards the implementation of the convention.


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