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Workers handling hides at a tannery. Almost all of Bangladesh’s 200 plus tanneries are concentrated in Hazaribagh, a densely populated, odious neighbourhood on the banks of the Buriganga River. Residents of Hazaribagh's slums complain of illnesses such as fevers, skin diseases, respiratory problems and diarrhoea. They blame the tanneries for polluting the air, water, and soil and therefore causing their afflictions. The lives of the tannery industry's estimated 20,000 workers are harsh with many dying before they turn 50. Everyday these factories discharge thousands of litres of foul-smelling liquid waste into the river. However, with almost one billion USD a year in export sales, the leather industry is one of Bangladesh’s most profitable sectors and there has been limited progress in cleaning it up. For 60 years of operations an unrecorded amount of chromium sulphate, lead, organohalogens, lime, hydrogen sulphide, sulphuric acid, formic acid, bleach, dyes and oils have been discharged into the river.