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-
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