Dhaka Air Pollution :

Lead pollution in the city

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated in its NewsBriefs (Bangladesh studies pollution levels. IAEA Newsbriefs. Volume 11, No. 4(73), November/December 1996: 11) that pollution levels of lead in Bangladesh are among the worl'd highest during dry season, according Dr. M. Khaliquzzaman, a chief scientific officer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), with levels falling during periods of medium and heavy rainfall. Dr. Khaliquzzaman attributed the high lead levels to the use of leaded fuel in vehicles. He said that lead poses a public health danger, especially to children, by penetrating the lungs and entering the blood stream, and can lead to impaired intelligence.

Lead concentration in air of Dhaka in ng/m3

Season PM 0-2.5 (Fine) PM 2.5-10 (Coarse) PM 0-10 (Total)
Low rainfall 463 444 907
Medium rainfall 253 239 492
Heavy rainfall 160 108 268

Near busy roads, the values may be ~10 times higher

Note: PM 0-2.5 (particle size <2.5 ); PM 2.5-10 (particle size between 2.5-10 ); PM stands for particulate matter


Lead dispresion and lead in gasoline in Dhaka

Year Pb in Gasoline Total lead dispersion
1994 0.4 ng/l 50 tons
1998 0.1 g/l 50 tons
Comment: Situation has not possibly worsened in Dhaka since 1994


Cost of lead pollution


Why there is Pb in Bangladesh gasoline?



  1. Bangladesh Studies Pollution Levels. IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Newsbriefs. Vol. 11, No. 4 (73); Nov-Dec 1996: 11.
  2. Khaliquzzaman M. Objectives, structures and expected follow-up. Paper preseneted at the Consultative Meeting on Integrated approach to vehicular air pollution control in Dhaka held between April 26-27, 1998 jointly by World Bank and Department of Environment, Government of Bangladesh.

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Medical Information Group (MIG), Dhaka, Bangladesh

November 22, 1998 10:21 PM