The economy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is evolving and growing rapidly, from one previously based primarily on agriculture, to a more diversified manufacturing and service economy. In 2015, Bangladesh moved up the World Bank’s income bracket to become a lower-middle income country, and the country aims to become an upper-middle income country by 2021. The swift evolution of Bangladesh’s economy has brought sustained growth, but has also created challenges regarding pollution control and environmental health. This growth and the associated pollution challenges have, in some cases, outpaced the collection of information on chemical pollution and the Department of Environment’s capacity to effectively manage environmental health risks.
Pure Earth’s work in Bangladesh began in 2011, and has focused on our Toxic Site Identification Program (TSIP) and cleanups. Our more recent work has focused specifically on lead contamination. Bangladesh faces significant challenges from lead. Childhood lead poisoning is believed to be widespread in Bangladesh, and prevents exposed children from reaching their full intellectual potential. Much of the lead that contaminates sites in Bangladesh is believed to be released during the informal manufacturing and recycling of lead-acid batteries. To better understand full impacts of this informal industry, Pure Earth has concentrated its TSIP program on this particular source, with the aim of developing sufficient data and understanding to contribute meaningfully to a national solution.
Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health- Bangladesh Summary
Pollution is responsible for 26.6% of deaths in Bangladesh. Learn more about how pollution affects health and the economy in Bangladesh by reading the Bangladesh Summary Report, based on the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health.
Read more about our work in Bangladesh in The Pollution Blog:
- Looking for Lead? No Problem! (June 2017)