Chemicals & Heavy Metals

Chemicals & Heavy Metals

Chemicals in Consumer Products

Chemicals in consumer products are used to preserve goods, as antimicrobial agent, for early ripening, as color stabilizer, and for beautifying purposes as make up. The products are rice, fish, fruits, vegetables, processed food, cosmetics, jewelry, enamel paints, dentistry, electronic gadgets and toys.

Chemicals cause harm to human health and hazards environment. The manufacturers have been using chemicals in consumer products in Bangladesh for decades. Lack of laws, regulations, government enforcement and public awareness are mainly responsible for the uninterrupted continuation of this act. However, Environment and Social Development Organization– ESDO aims at toxic free Bangladesh and pioneers in raising public awareness through research publication, media campaign and policy advocacy since 1990 throughout Bangladesh.


Food colors, hydrochloride, palm oil, trans fats, white grain and formalin are some of the common chemicals added to pizza, sauce, cheese sauce, soft drinks, instant rice, hot dog, and in milk.


Ethylene, carbide, formalin, DDT, alfa chloride, textile color, pesticides, arsenic, heavy metals (Pd, Ch, Mn) are used in rice, apple, mango, pineapple, litchi, berry, carrot, tomato, and fish.


Mercury, lead, steroid, hydro quinone, caloric acid are widely used in, dental amalgam, whitening cream, and in metallic jewelries.

Existing Regulations In Bangladesh

Currently there are 15 laws to regulate safe food delivery to the consumers in Bangladesh.

  • They directly do not control the use of highly hazardous and toxic chemicals. It can be easily comply with the specific chemical hazards and public health interest issues.
  • Besides enforcement, lack of political commitment, transparency and governance are the barriers to implement

Environment And Social Development Organization– ESDO’s Intervention

Functioning since 1990 towards a toxic free Bangladesh and the followings are specific initiatives;

  • Anti– polythene campaign lead to ban plastic bags in Bangladesh
  • Campaign and policy intervention on highly hazards pesticides
  • Zero– waste village for promoting organic farming and sustainable livelihood
  • Public awareness on EDC’s & Nano Tech
  • Research and campaign for banning toxic toys
  • Research and campaign on mercury in products
  • Lead Free Paints Campaign
  • E-waste management
  • Campaign and policy lobbying for Mercury-free Dentistry
  • Public awareness on POPs, PCB, BFR and Asbestos

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