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Bangladesh Government mulls banning lead-dominant paints


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Bangladesh in concurrence of a global resolution is contemplating to ban paints containing lead by the end of this year.
The Ministry of Environment (MoE) is now studying the global agenda towards banning continued production, import and export, sale and use of enamel decorative paints containing lead.
The household enamel paints are widely blamed for causing harmful effects in biological systems.The worst victims from lead exposure are children.
These children are likely to suffer lifelong impacts, including decreases in intelligence, difficulties in school, increases in violent behaviour and reductions in workforce productivity.
Rafiqul Islam, additional secretary at the MoE told the Daily Observer on Monday that after series of consultation with stakeholders, including environmentalists, a public policy will be formulated, which would enable comprehensive legislation.
An official from the MoE and a researcher from an environmental NGO from Bangladesh actively participated in a regional meeting on the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) in Kuala Lumpur on March 22-27, which was organised by International Persistent Organic Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).The World Health Organisation and donors would assist government and non-government efforts in association with medical institutes to conduct regular bio-monitoring, such as screening and blood lead testing and clinical studies on the effects of lead on human health.
UNEP, WHO, Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint would take initiatives to strengthen the capacity of the health care sector to diagnose and manage lead poisoning cases, including treatment guidelines.The resolution echoes the findings of UNEP’s 2011 study on the possible effects on human health and the environment of products containing lead, cadmium and mercury which are commonly used in paints in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific region.
Some countries in the region have already adopted laws and regulations eliminating the use of lead in enamel decorative paints and established controls on paint used in products such as toys for children.Bangladesh apparently does not have any legislation, particularly on concentrations of lead in paint. The existing Bangladesh Conservation Act-1995 has a broad definition of “hazardous substances” under which lead can be classified, said Rafiqul Islam.
The law gives the government power to implement standards and guidelines for the use of released hazardous substances.
Experts felt that an adequate national regulatory frameworks is imperative, to wisely regulate and minimise manufacture, import, export, sale and use of toxic paints and products.
“However, the cabinet may go for amendment to the existing law,” a senior MoE official said, preferring not to be named. The Bangladesh paint industry is worth Tk 18 billion. Berger, Asian, Roxy, Pailac, Acua and Elite dominate 90 per cent of the market shares.
A total of 51 large, medium and small size manufacturers decorative enamel paints in Bangladesh, and six companies import paints mostly from neighbouring India.However, some paint manufacturers have discontinued the use of lead in enamel decorative paints and reformulated their products using non-lead alternatives at a similar price and with similar colours and performance characteristics, the ministry’s additional secretary disclosed. In a two-and-half year intensive survey by Environment and Social Development Organisation (ESDO) and Bangladesh Paint Manufacturers Association (BPMA) discovered that two-thirds (64 per cent) paint samples have a lead concentration about 600 parts per million (ppm), which are not allowed to sell or use in most industrialised countries, says Dr Hossain Shahriar, chief of ESDO.The study found that 26 paints (29 per cent) contain low levels of lead less than 90 ppm and meet the standard set by the United States.
For five brands, all paints analysed by ESDO were found to have lead content below 90 ppm. All the three multinational companies (MNCs) were found to have no paints with lead at a level that exceeds 90 ppm, observed Dr Hossain.

Collected:

http://www.observerbd.com/

Posted by on Apr 8 2014. Filed under Bangladesh Exclusive, No Lead Paint. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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