Experts for stronger industrial waste management

The government should increase monitoring of import the lead chromate as a pigment and effective industrial waste management, experts said.

Addressing a webinar on Monday, speakers also the government should formulate prudent policy to control the pollution from lead materials considering the public health issue.

Department of Environment (DoE) and Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation SDC jointly organized the meeting virtually in association with USAID and OAK Foundation.

Ministry of Environment Additional Secretary Ahmed Shamim Al Razi connected as chief guest while DoE Director General Ashraf Uddin presided over the session titled ‘Advancing a Lead Pollution and Health Roadmap for Bangladesh’.

In the keynote, there is mentioned that Bangladesh is one of the most lead-impacted countries in the world. It experiences the fourth highest rate of death from lead exposure.

More than 36 million children are exposed to lead with an average of approx. 7.5 μg/dL blood lead level, almost double than the suggested common health guidelines of the World Health Organisation.

Additional Secretary Shamim Al Razi said the department of environment will take the lead in a joint, multi-stakeholder approach to eradicating lead pollution.

“Research institutions and universities should come up with ways to shift illegal, informal battery recycling industries to the regulated, registered sector. We have to identify community areas that are contaminated with lead and take steps to restore these communities,” he further added.

Pure Earth vice president Andrew McCartor said the government has to take the lead role in devising a national strategy for the handling of this problem.

“We need to address the lack in a common set of goals and strategies to advance a holistic national approach. “If lead is in soil, it stays hundred years if it is not cleaned. This is a continuous threat to generation after generation,” he said.

The sources of poisonous lead are widespread starting from used battery to spices, lead-based paint, cosmetics, aluminum cookeries and traditional medicine.


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