Dhaka, 20 October, 2018: Dust from lead paint is still the number one source of childhood lead poisoning. So focusing this on the eve of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week-2018 under the theme of ‘Learn The Risk, Call For Action, Ban Lead Paint’ a human chain was formed on 20 October, 2018 in the front of Manik Mia Ave (Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban), TSC and Press Club to phase out lead containing paints globally by 2020.
Lead poisoning is preventable, yet the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has estimated that, based on 2016 data, lead exposure accounted for 540 000 deaths and 13.9 million years lost to disability and death due to long-term health effects, with the highest burden in developing regions. Of particular concern is the role of lead exposure in the development of intellectual disability in children. Even though there is wide recognition of the harmful effects of lead and many countries have taken action, exposure to lead, particularly in childhood, remains of key concern to health care providers and public health officials worldwide. An important source of domestic lead exposure, particularly in children, is paint containing high levels of lead. These paints are still widely available and used in many countries for decorative purposes, although good substitutes without lead are available. In Bangladesh ESDO has been working for a specific regulation of lead free paint 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 work 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.
About ESDO: ESDO had been working since 2008 from awareness raising activities to policy advocacy on the issue of ‘Ban Lead Paint’ in Bangladesh. ESDO worked with the aid of European Union with IPEN-SWITCH Asia Lead Paint Elimination Project to minimize and eliminate the manufacture, import, sale and use of lead on decorative paints in Bangladesh. ESDO’s goal is to eliminate lead paint in Bangladesh by 2018 by promoting the establishment of a law to Ban Lead Paint in Bangladesh. Although through ESDO’s assiduous policy advocacy Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institutions (BSTI) have already published an SRO on the standard of Lead content in paint below 90 ppm, still striving for a regulation in this regard.