Lead causes 4th highest death in BD: Speakers
Published : Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 at 12:00 AM Count : 1180
Bangladesh is one of the most lead-impacted countries in the world that experiences the 4th highest rate of death from lead exposure, said speakers at a virtual workshop on Wednesday.
More than 36 million children are exposed to lead with an average of approximate 7.5 ?g/dL blood lead level, almost double than the suggested common health guidelines of the World Health Organization, they said.
Pure Earth Bangladesh in coordination with the
Department of Environment (DoE) and the support from USAID, OAK Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation SDC organized the virtual workshop.
The speakers of the event shared ideas and put emphasize on establishing a multi-stakeholder approach within the leadership of the relevant government ministries to eradicate lead pollution.
Comparing the severity of this situation to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chief Guest of the event Ahmed Shamim Al Razi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said Covid-19 and lead pollution are silent killers.
He also committed to phasing out lead as one of the biggest priorities of the ministry.
"The Department of Environment will take the lead in a joint, multi-stakeholder approach to eradicate lead pollution," he said.
We need to raise public awareness of how the lead is increasing our environmental and health risks.
Its damage to the human body and environment is irreparable. Lead pollution is not the only environmental, health, and economic issue, it also has a negative impact on education, societal stability and violence and climate solutions.
Andrew McCartor, VP, Strategy, and Partnerships, Pure Earth 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 participants and speakers urged the government to transfer the ULAB recycling from informal to formal sector and enforce the laws and regulation with proper monitoring mechanism.
There were also suggestions for various training sessions and workshops to enhance the knowledge and skills of stakeholders related to lead pollution and raise awareness through media engagement.