Thrust on banning hazardous, toxic substance use in textile, footwear, leather industries Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) organised a seminar on Restriction and Controlled Use of Hazardous and Toxic Substances for Industries in Bangladesh with stakeholders from the public and private sectors Monday at its secretariat. BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum moderated the seminar. Speakers at a seminar suggested on Monday imposition of restriction on use of hazardous and toxic substances in textile, footwear and leather industries through creating mass awareness about the safer alternatives to such usage. They said use of hazardous chemicals is harmful for health and ecology and suggested formulating favourable policies on tax issues to encourage the entrepreneurs and industrialists to adopt a safer and sustainable production process by avoiding hazardous and toxic chemicals. They were speaking at the seminar titled ‘Restriction and Controlled Use of Hazardous and Toxic Substances for Industries in Bangladesh’ organised by Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) at its city office. Secretary General of DCCI A H M Rezaul Kabir, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Industries Yasmin Sultana, CEO of BUILD Ferdaus Ara Begum, Research Associate of BUILD Md Nuruzzaman, Assistant Inspector of Explosives Monira Yesmin, professor of BUET Sumona Paul, environmental specialist of H&M Md Omar Faruq, national expert of GIZ M Abdur Rahman, Deputy Chief of MCCI Abdul Goni Mia, Assistant Secretary of BKMEA Kazi Mohammed Iqbal Hossain and senior specialist of C&A Sourcing International Md Salim Ullah, among others, took part in the seminar. “Some 11 chemical groups including over 166 substances are affecting the global environment and ecosystem through non-soluble micro-pollutant abstracts and hazardous substances that are used in textile and leather factories randomly causing chronic diseases among humans,” said Md Nuruzzaman. “The European Union and North American countries have banned the hazardous substances. In Bangladesh these hazardous substances are being used causing threat to the environment and human health largely,” he added. Ferdaus Ara Begum made a proposal to increase duties on some hazardous substances which have environment-friendly alternatives. “There are some hazardous chemicals that are imported under a single HS code which have to be specified. Customs people should be trained and full-fledged chemical labs should be established in ports to examine the hazardous chemicals which have negative impacts on the environment,” she added.