3-day photo exhibition on lead pollution to begin in Dhaka Wednesday

Poster of exhibition

A 3-day photography exhibition titled "Solve Lead Pollution, Save Future Generations" will begin in Dhaka on Wednesday, said a press release.

The visual evidence of impactful actions to mitigate lead pollution through research, advocacy, awareness, and source-specific interventions is showcased in a photography exhibition titled "Solve Lead Pollution, Save Future Generations".

Pure Earth Bangladesh, a US-based non-profit organization has organised the event from 25-27 October at Shilpakala Academy in solidarity with the United Nations eleventh International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPW) that is being observed globally from 22-28 October.

The exhibition is organized with technical support from the Department of Environment (DoE) and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), aiming for a world where all, especially children, can lead healthy lives free from toxic pollution exposure.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition will be held on Wednesday at 7 Number Gallery of Chitrashala, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Razinara Begum, director, Waste and Chemicals Management, Department of Environment (DoE); and Mohammod Solaiman Haider, director, Planning, Department of Environment (DoE), and professor Mazharul Islam, line director (PMR), Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), will present at the inaugurating event.

This year’s ILPPW campaign slogan “End Childhood Lead Poisoning” reminds governments, civil society organizations, health partners, industry, and others of the unacceptable risks of lead exposure and the need for action to protect children's health.

Bangladesh, the fourth most lead pollution-impacted country in the world, is facing a significant IQ loss among children and cardiovascular disease death among adults due to lead pollution.

A recent World Bank study published in the Lancet reveals that lead pollution has serious implications for children below five years of age, causing a loss of about 20 million (20,596,306) IQ points, and causing a very high economic cost of $10,897 million, which is 3.6 per cent of the country's annual GDP.

Childhood lead poisoning increases the risk of decreased intelligence in children, learning problems, and behavioural disorders. Also, about 140,000 (138,054) cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths among adults aged 25 years or older due to lead exposure exceeded the previous estimation with a four times higher mortality rate.

In Bangladesh, the major sources of lead exposure include used-lead acid battery recycling in informal settings, leaded paint, aluminium cookware, ceramic food ware, spices, toys, cosmetics, food, electronic waste, fertilizers, and cultured fish feed.

Pure Earth’s Rapid Market Screening Study found high levels of lead in consumer products including aluminium and ceramic cookware and foodware, paint, toys, etc.

The exhibition promises to be a remarkable one by featuring a diverse array of hundreds of photographs showcasing Pure Earth's dedication to solving lead pollution in Bangladesh. These photos will depict the five-phase solutions implemented by Pure Earth and the profound impact of lead pollution on the nation.

One of the unique aspects of the opening ceremony is the live demonstration of detecting lead contamination levels in different consumer products with an XRF (X-ray fluorescence) machine. This hands-on experience will provide attendees with valuable insights into the detection and prevention of lead pollution in everyday items.

The ceremony will be graced by the presence of esteemed guests, including representatives from the Department of Environment, the Directorate General of Health Services, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, and partner organizations.

These vital solutions to lead pollution are captured by many renowned photographers including Abdullah Al Kafi, Ashfika Rahman, Larry Price, Mitali Das, Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, Md., Sabbir Hossain, Saikat Majumdar, Shikdar Habibur Rahman Tonu, and Sukanta Kumar.

This exhibition was Curated by Monon Muntaka and the Curatorial Assistant was Arshadul Hoque Rocky.