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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Momentum builds to end the largest mercury use in U.S.A. – dental amalgam

April 17, 2018

16 April, 2018, Chicago: A coalition of 50 environmental, public health, and children’s rights groups called for an end to the controversial filling material – dentalamalgam – inAmerican children, and for a two-year general phase-out in its use in the United States.  Supporters include many major national nonprofit groups, including Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, Clean Water Action,Consumers for Dental Choice, and Learning Disabilities Association of America.

The paper, known as the Chicago Declaration, was unveiled at a news conference heldat the University of Illinois at Chicago and chaired by Charlie Brown, president of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry,Brown noted, “Starting July 1, the European Union bans amalgam for children under 15; the U.S. needs to act just as aggressively.”[1]

Once the mainstay of dentistry, amalgam is now in sharp decline and is discontinued in several countries.  Despite its deceptive name “silver fillings,” amalgam’s main component is actually mercury, a neurotoxin and a heavy metal.

Jessica Saepoff, DDS, former Commissioner of the Washington State Dental Quality Assurance Commission, said, “Mercury-free dentistry is practical, it is a superior technology and it is tooth-friendly – minimally invasive –while amalgam is not.  As a good citizen concerned about the environment and as an employer who doesn’t want her staff exposed to mercury vapor, I won’t use amalgam in my patients, and haven’tdone so for 25 years.”

Other organizations signing onto the Chicago Declaration in support include Environmental Working Group, Mercury Policy Project, Organic Consumers Association,International Indian Treaty Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Chicago, Organic and Natural Health Association, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance, the Ecology Center, and Alliance for Natural Health-USA. Key state-based environmental, public health, and children’s groups represent half the states.

Peter Orris, M.D., of Health Care Without Harm and a participant in the news conference, said, “Mercury’s impact on young people’s health through its presence in fish remains an unresolved problem in this country and around the world.  Reducing and eventually virtually eliminating mercury use in ‘silver’ dental fillings by replacement with other effective restorative materials will go a long way in removing this environmental threat to our children in the future.”

As other mercury uses decline, dental amalgam has become the single largest use of mercury in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  Once amalgam is released, “certain microorganisms can change elemental mercury into methylmercury, a highlytoxic form that builds up in fish, shellfish and animals that eat fish” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The Chicago Declaration calls for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to act on currently idled petitions.  “But we don’t need FDA to act,” said Beth McGaw, President, Learning Disabilities Association of America.  “Every parent in America needs to insist their dentists only use mercury-free dental fillings for their child.”

Chicago dentist Dr. Timothy Crowe spoke at the news conference, expressing confidence that the term “Chicago Declaration” is well-earned.  “Chicago dentists increasingly recognize the need to transition to mercury-free dentistry.  In my experience practicing both on the South Side and downtown, the alternatives are affordable, effective, and available,” he said.

[1]https://tinyurl.com/Chicago-Declaration


Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, An Undisputed Leader of Bangladesh Dental Society got recognition for practicing ‘Mercury-Free Dentistry’

April 4, 2018

Dhaka, 3 April 2018: Secretary General of Bangladesh Dental Society and one of the most renowned dental surgeons, Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul got recognition for being Mercury-Free. His dental chamber named ‘Orient Dental’ situated in Shantinagar, Dhaka got an appreciation as a ‘Mercury-Free Dental Chamber’ by Bangladesh Dental Society-BDS and Environment and Social development Organization-ESDO. In 28 January, 2018, ESDO and BDS in collaboration with World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and Asian Center for Environmental Health inaugurated the program as a part of their vibrant campaign to ban mercury from dentistry in Bangladesh through visiting and recognizing mercury-free dental chambers. Dr. Humayun, the principal dentist of the dental chamber was provided with a sticker logo denoting ‘Mercury-Free Dental Chamber’ for his chamber.

ESDO in collaboration with BDS started its mercury-free dentistry initiatives in Bangladesh in 2013. Earlier in 10 March, 2018, a great endeavor has been made by Bangladesh Dental Society towards the establishment of Mercury-Free Dentistry in Bangladesh. BDS made a declaration on ‘Phase out Mercury Dental Amalgam in the treatment of pregnant women, nursing mother and children within June, 2018’ through a press briefing.

Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul said, “By 2018 BDS is going to ensure mercury-free dental treatment for children, pregnant women and nursing mother. So this kind of initiative is not only praiseworthy but also timely demanded action. I encourage all the professional dentists as well as young practitioners to practice mercury free dentistry. We want every dental chamber of our country as mercury-free.”

Syed Marghub Murshed said, “There is no room for mercury in dental treatment. We are on the verge of phasing out mercury amalgam from dentistry. What is most needed now is a regulation on the ban of mercury dental amalgam in Bangladesh.”


A declaration to phase out ‘Mercury Dental Amalgam’ in the treatment of pregnant women, nursing mother and children within June, 2018 by BDS

March 10, 2018

Dhaka, 10 March 2018: ” Mercury dental amalgam should not be used in the treatment of pregnant women, nursing mother and children after June, 2018″ – The declaration came from Bangladesh Dental Society (BDS) in association with Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO through a press briefing. Yesterday (Saturday) in a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity, BDS Secretary General Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul officially announced this decision.

Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul said, “Since Minamata Convention has already entered into an international force, Bangladesh is ought to phase out mercury added products by 2020 as a signatory of the convention.”

“I am hopeful that since Bangladesh is a signatory country of Minamata convention, Government will pay much attention to introduce regulations to stop mercury amalgam in dental treatment,” said Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO.

The vapor that released from mercury dental amalgam poses neurotoxic effects for the neurological systems of fetuses and young children and considering its potential toxicity, mercury is enlisted in the top ten chemicals of major public concern by WHO. This is high time to drain out the use of mercury amalgam in dental treatment to save people as well as environment from the consequential fatal effects of mercury.

 “Mercury threatens not only our lives but also our environment. While many countries have already disallowed mercury amalgam, we, the people of Bangladesh, are far behind. For protecting our future, the use of mercury in dental treatment has to be outlawed right now,” said Dr. Md. Abul Kashem, president, BDS.

“Today’s declaration of BDS signifies a way forward towards phasing out dental amalgam for the treatment of the most vulnerable groups of its toxicity. A concrete regulation from the government alongside is an urge for the early ratification of the convention”, said Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Executive Vice President of World Alliance.

“In 2013 Bangladesh signed Minamata Convention, the global treaty to phase out all sorts of mercury uses to protect human health and environment from its detrimental effects. On that account this declaration will be an effective move towards supporting the convention,” said Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO.

As Bangladesh is a signatory country of Minamata Convention, BDS together with ESDO made a call to the dental surgeons of Bangladesh for putting an end to the use of mercury amalgam in the treatment of pregnant woman, nursing mother and children within June, 2018. In accordance with that they made an urge to the Government to officially prohibit the use and export of mercury and mercury containing products.

 

For More information,

Dr. Shahriar Hossain

Phone: 01711545066

Email: shahriar@esdo.org

Tahera Islam Rity

Phone: 01557019412

 


Eliminate Microbeads and Reduce Microplastic Pollution-An Urgent Need!

February 19, 2018

 

Dhaka 19, February, 2018: A huge gathering of health and environmental experts, government representatives, stakeholders, academicians, and mass people encouraged the ban of microplastic, especially microbeads in a ‘Knowledge Sharing Consultation with Stakeholders on Microplastic Pollution in the Bay of Bengal’ to make people, especially the stakeholders aware about the emerging pollution threat from microbeads. The event was organized by Environment and Social development Organization-ESDO at Four Seasons Restaurant, Sat Masjid Road, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO presided over the event. Md. Billal Hossain, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and Khondoker Mostafizur Rahman, Additional Secretary (R&D), Ministry of Industries were the special guests of the event. Dr. Mahmood Hasan Khan, former director, Department of Environment and Dr. Abul Hashem Khan, Chairman (Chemical Division), Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute-BSTI  presided the panel. Secretary General of ESDO, Dr. Shahriar hossain moderated the event. Among others, government representatives from Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, DoE, and directorate general of health services, Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) were present in the event.

For the very first time, stakeholders of plastic products, microplastics and microbeads came into one common platform to share their views and opinions about microplastic pollution. The key point of discussion was how to eliminate microbeads, thus minimizing the global microplastic debris.

A video documentary was shown in the event followed by a power point presentation showing the study findings and survey results of ESDO on the current situation of the use of microbeads as well as the level of awareness among consumers and retailers in Bangladesh. It was very unfortunate that among 200 retailers surveyed, only a percent had idea about microplastic or microbeads.

Microplastics is used as a collective form to describe particles measuring less than 5 mm. Microplastics can be categorized into two types : those which are generated from larger plastic particles as a result of fragmentation and those which are generated intentionally as microbeads. Whatever the sources are, at present microplastics pollution is of increasing concern throughout the world.

Md. Billal Hossain appreciated ESDO’s initiative as it is the first organization in Bangladesh who has taken such an initiative to address the pollution from microbeads in Bangladesh. He 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.”

Khondoker Mostafizur Rahman said, “though microplastic pollution is a global problem we should first think from Bangladesh perspective. As Bay of Bengal is the most significant asset of Bangladesh, we should work together to protect it from plastic trashes. To reduce microplastic trashes in ocean and land the complete elimination of microbeads from personnal care products is inevitable.”

Dr. Shahriar said, “The British government has banned the production of microbeads in rinse-off cosmetics and cleaning products in England. The ban on production took effect on 9 January 2018 and will be followed by a sales ban on 1 July 2018. Bangladesh is not the producer of microbeads rather importer. So it would be easy for Bangladeshi Government to call a ban on microbeads in personal care products“.

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.

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. 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. Fish species that humans harvest for food have been known to eat micro-plastic particles at an alarming rate and the toxins absorbed in those plastics transfer to the fish tissue.

ESDO urged 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

Afrida Nazibah

Phone: 01557019412


‘Mercury-Free Dental Chamber’ being recognized by BDS and ESDO: Pioneering approach in Asia

January 28, 2018

Dhaka, 28 January 2018: Dentistry will catch a breath of fresh air as a completely new approach towards mercury-free dentistry in Bangladesh through visiting a dental chamber named ‘Dental Center’ in the capital city Dhaka and recognizing it ‘Mercury-Free’ by Bangladesh Dental Society-BDS and Environment and Social development Organization-ESDO. On 28 January, 2018 ESDO and BDS in collaboration with World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and Asian Center for Environmental Health  inaugurated the program as a part of their vibrant campaign to ban mercury from dentistry in Bangladesh. Dr. Md. Mosharrof Hossain Khandker, the principal dentist of the dental chamber was provided with a sticker logo denoting ‘Mercury-Free Dental Chamber’ for his chamber.

ESDO in collaboration with BDS has started its mercury-free dentistry initiatives in Bangladesh since 2013. In line with this, dental chamber visit and mercury-free dental chamber declaration is an worthwhile approach to encourage dentists for practicing mercury-free dentistry as well as to let people know the best choice for them is mercury-free dental treatment. After visiting a good number of dental chambers in countrythe mercury-free dental chambers will be awarded certificate through a prestigious ceremony. The main objective of this dental chamber visit initiative is to make an ultimate call for the ban of mercury amalgam in dentistry.

 Earlier in 2017, BDS declared and set target to phase out dental mercury amalgam by 2018 in Bangladesh. On may 6, 2017 in a workshop entitled “Mercury-Free Dentistry: Way Forward” this declaration was made. (Contineu Reading ..)


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

 

 


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