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100pc of children's blood samples tested found alarming quantity of lead

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All blood samples of children which were tested found alarming quantity of lead, said a new study revealed on Tuesday.

Lead damages the brains of babies and children less than five years of age, causing them lifelong neurological, cognitive, and physical impairment.

Bangladesh is one of the most severely lead-impacted countries, with more than 35.5 million children affected.

The findings were shared at a seminar titled ‘Lead poisoning in Bangladesh: Research Evidence for Urgent Action’ with the theme 'Together we can solve lead pollution' held on Tuesday in Dhaka.

The seminar was organised by the Directorate General of Health Service, ICDDR,B and UNICEF.

A total of seven studies were shared at the event.

All 980 children tested had lead in their blood and 65 per cent had blood lead levels above the US Center for Disease Control limit of 3.5 micrograms per decilitre, the level at which interventions should be started to stop the exposure to lead.

Another rapid market screening study found lead in 96 out of 367 samples tested. The samples included locally produced toys, paints, aluminium and silver cookware, sweetener containers, vegetables, rice and other spices from markets in four cities - Dhaka, Barisal, Rajshahi and Khulna in Bangladesh.

Another recent article also shared at the presentation by the icddr,b team that conducted blood lead level testing of 500 children in Dhaka city identified lead in blood in all of the children.

Study also identified multiple possible sources of lead exposure in rural Bangladesh. Isotopic analysis confirmed that adulterated turmeric is the source of high blood lead level for pregnant women.

ESDO conducted a study to determine the lead content of popular household and industrial paints in Bangladesh and compare the situation with the previous year.

The study said that there is no lead test in blood diagnosis services in the government and private health facilities in Bangladesh. If actions are not taken immediately, the country may face severe consequences as lead effects in both mental and physical health of children, experts said at the event.

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