Lead Exposure: Bangladesh 4th worst-hit in terms of child deaths
Hossen Sohel for DOT
 Bangladesh is the fourth most-seriously hit in terms of the number of children affected as lead poisoning is affecting them on a massive and previously unknown scale in the world, says a new global report.  The report, the first of its kind, says that around 1 in 3 children – up to 800 million globally – have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the level at which requires action, reports UNB.  Nearly half of these children live in South Asia. In Bangladesh, it is estimated that 35.5 million children are affected with blood lead levels above 5 μg/dL, making the country the fourth most-seriously hit in the world in terms of the number of children affected, according to a new global report launched by UNICEF and Pure Earth. “Lead exposure has severe and long-lasting health and development effects on children, including lifelong learning disabilities and their capacity to earn an income when they grow up. UNICEF will be working with the concerned actors to help address dangerous metal waste and lead pollution and the toll it takes on children,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh.
 The report, The Toxic Truth: Children’s exposure to lead pollution undermines a generation of potential, is an analysis of childhood lead exposure undertaken by the Institute of Health Metrics Evaluation and verified with a study approved for publication in Environmental Health Perspectives.
 In Bangladesh, illegal recycling of used lead-acid batteries in the open-air and close to homestead areas is considered to be a major source of lead exposure.
This poses a significant health risk for both children and adults.
 According to the Institute of Health Metrics Evaluation, Bangladesh has the world’s fourth-highest rate of death due to lead exposure with an average population blood lead level of 6.83 μg/dL, which is the eleventh highest in the world.
The research also found that high concentrations of lead were found in spices in Bangladesh.