Experts urged to ratify Minamata Convention to phase out mercury-added products পারদযুক্ত পণ্যের ব্যবহার বন্ধে মিনামাতা কনভেনশন অনুমোদনের আহ্বান সেন্টমার্টিন সৈকতে প্লাস্টিকের আগ্রাসন 72 birds die eating pesticide-treated masakalai Educate girls to save the planet শিশুর সর্দি-কাশি সারানোর ঘরোয়া উপায় 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12 24 thousand under 5 children die of pneumonia in Bangladesh annually গ্রিনহাউস গ্যাস কমানোর লক্ষ্যে নানা উদ্যোগ Maldives: Eco-friendly product export destination for Bangladesh

Bangladesh Products Consume 50 Tons Mercury in a Year


Dhaka, 16 August 2015: A huge amount of toxic mercury, approximately 58.5 metric ton, was legally and illegally imported in 2014 which was used in producing cosmetics, jewelry, electronics, measuring devices etc, found by a study conducted by Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO. This finding was disclosed in the national Workshop on “Reduction of demand for mercury, in mercury-containing products in Bangladesh,” held at the National Press Club on 16 August, 2015, Sunday jointly by ESDO and United Nation Environment Program (UNEP). Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Chief Guest of the workshop, said, “It would be the joint effort of all people of Bangladesh which will enable us to raise awareness about mercury poisoning. Only government, NGOs or media personnel will not be enough to resist people from producing or using mercury containing products”. Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO, Dr. Shahriar Hossain, UNEP mercury expert and Secretary General of ESDO were also present in this program. Concerned stakeholders and representatives including experts, specialists, and officials from Department of Environment (DoE), Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute (BSTI), Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Dhaka University, Jahangir Nagar University, Jagannath University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), State University, Bangladesh Dental Society (BDS), health sectors and head of different associations participated in the workshop urged for immediate reduction of mercury and mercury containing products. Dr. Kamal also said, “Since Bangladesh is a signatory country of the Minamata Convention, it is now our ardent duty to ratify and implement the convention at the shortest possible time. Ministry of Environment and Forest has already taken necessary measures to ratify the convention. We hope that, we will do it without any delay.” Professor Dr. Ainun Nishat, prominent environmentalist in Bangladesh and the Vice-Chair of ESDO appreciated the initiatives ESDO has taken in Bangladesh. He said, “This report not only reveals the sources of mercury, but it also the highlights the adverse impacts of mercury very clearly.” Professor Dr. Abu Jafar Mahmud, former faculty of Chemistry Department, Dhaka University, informed, “The research report ESDO prepared definitely would be valuable asset. It will assist the government in ratifying the Minamata Convention. This report will be a milestone for further research, awareness campaigns, and creating policies.” Dr. Shahriar Hossain, UNEP mercury specialist and Secretary General of ESDO said, “Public health is at stake because of the wide exposure of mercury in Bangladesh. According to the Minamata Convention, Bangladesh would have to ban mercury by 2020. As a signatory country, Bangladesh will have to lessen mercury emission from thermometer, fluorescent bulbs, electric power plant, and cement industries.” Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO, added to Dr. Shahriar, “All countries including Bangladesh agreed to control emission of mercury, a chemical hazardous for health. According to the treaty, production of mercury containing products, their import and export will have to be banned within 2020. We aim to implement this treaty.” The aims of this workshop were to: disseminate study findings among the stakeholders, exchange views and share ideas to create public awareness, allow the participants to increase their domains of action to reduce the use, sale and import of mercury containing chemicals or products and to collect possible suggestions and recommendations of the stakeholders, expertise for best practices and policy intervention. “Mercury in products” is an issue of concern for human health and the environment. ESDO has prepared this report on the baseline survey conducted recently on Mercury Containing Products (Production to Use) in Bangladesh. This workshop is a part of this project. The sectors ESDO has studied are: Industrial sector, Health Care sectors, Energy sector, and Electronic sectors. The products of the sectors studied are: chlor alkali plants, cement factory, paper and pulps, thermometers, sphygmomanometers, dental amalgam, power plants, CFL bulbs, button cell batteries, measuring devices and jewelry. ESDO’s baseline survey has disclosed that 887472 thermometers are used yearly in Bangladesh. Almost 37.8% of these thermometers break (552007.58). Similarly, yearly use of sphygmomanometers is 305926 and 10% (275333.4) of the total sphygmomanometers break. Additionally, the survey on the Energy Sector found that coal burning in power plants will be a major contributor of mercury emissions into the atmosphere in Bangladesh in the near future. Regarding the Electric sectors, total CFL production in Bangladesh is 19,688,097.2 units in 2012-2014. Mercury release from CFL light bulb is 0.118 metric ton.

 

Posted by on Aug 28 2015. Filed under Bangladesh Exclusive. 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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