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A Toxics-Free Future


Concerted efforts to prevent lead poisoning stressed

Rajshahi Discussants at a meeting here today unanimously viewed that concerted effort of all the government and non-government entities concerned has become an urgent need to prevent lead poisoning as it’s a serious threat to the public health.

They mentioned that childhood lead poisoning remains one of the most serious threats to the health and well being of developing children. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.

The speakers came up with the observation while addressing a consultation titled “Impacts of Lead Poisoning on Human Health” at conference hall of Association for Community Development (ACD).

ACD and International Pops International Network (IPEN) jointly organized the meeting as part of the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week-2019 now being observed from October 20 to 26.

Divisional Deputy Director of Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institutions Khairul Islam addressed the discussion as chief guest while Executive Magistrate Iqbal Hassan and Chief Health Officer of Rajshahi City Corporation Dr AFM Anjuman Ara Begum spoke as special guests with ACD Executive Director Salima Sarwar in the chair.

During his keynote presentation, ACD Programme Manager Ali Hossain illustrated various negative impacts of lead poisoning to the human health.

He said lead poisoning remains an important occupational and environmental health concerns and the only sure way to diagnose lead poisoning is with a simple blood test.

Referring to various research findings Hossain said lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children.

Lead in the body is distributed to the brain, liver, kidney and bones. It is stored in the teeth and bones, where it accumulates over time. Human exposure is usually assessed through the measurement of lead in blood.

Taking part in open discussion Advocate Tonmoy Sanyal, Divisional Coordinator of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, said lead in bone is released into the blood during pregnancy and becomes a source of exposure to the developing fetus.

He added that lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children.

At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioural disorders.