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International Lead Poisoning Awareness Week 2015

Lead paint is a major source of potential lead poisoning for young children. The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was established to raise awareness of the widespread availability of lead paint. Click here for more information about the Week of Action.

IPEN Press Release: More than 80 Groups Worldwide Mark International Lead Poisoning Awareness Week

Learn more about IPEN's activities to eliminate lead paint here, find information about some of the activities carried out by IPEN Participating Organizations during the Week of Action below, and see a summary of actions (as well as information about other lead paint elimination activities) in IPEN"s Global Lead Paint Elimination Newlsletter here.

Bangladesh

Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) organized a fruitful policy dialogue at their head office. The active participation of government officials from the Department of Environment and Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute, as well as representatives from the World Health Organization, Bangladesh Paint Manufacturers Association, Berger Paints, Moon Start Paints, RAK Paints, Asian Paints, Anchor Paint, Imperial Paint, Nippon Paint, Elite Paint and Jotun Paint made the dialogue a big success. A wide range of media personnel also attended the meeting and actively participated in the conversation.

The following are some examples of media that was generated about the dialogue:

Channel 4 also covered the meeting (Bengali): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgkJHf99aWA&hd=1

Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Secretary General of ESDO, delivering the introductory speech at the policy dialogue     Shahin Sultana, a representative from Department of Environment, actively participated in the policy dialogue

Cameroon

Amongst other activities, Centre de Recherche et d’Education pour le Développement (CREPD) prepared a press release, gave an interview to the daily newspaper Cameroon Tribune, conducted outreach to representatives of the Ministries of Public Contract and Communication, held awareness-raising activities with various communities, and facilitated blood sampling to test for levels of lead. The Director of CREPD also participated in "Brain Box"- a TV program for children that is broadcast nationwide. "Brain Box" is a kind of brainstorming competition between two schools' pupils, and in this particular episode, questions were asked to assess their knowledge about lead in paint and lead paint intoxication. The program provided an opportunity for kids to become more curious and learn about childhood exposure to lead.

Blood sampling by a member of the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé Dr. Chelo, Faculty of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé, interviewing parents

Ethiopia

Pesticide Action Nexus (PAN)-Ethiopia organized a press conference in Addis Ababa for the new Ethiopian paints analysis results. Representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Industry, Ethiopian Standards Agency, WHO, US Embassy, the media, paint industries and other like-minded stakeholders attended the event.  

The Ethiopian Standards agency took the initiative to hold a discussion with paint industries and to set lead in paint content to be less than 90 ppm as a standard for Ethiopian decorative enamel paints. The paint manufacturers (industry owners) were very emotional about the the impact of lead in paint and promised to take voluntary action to eliminate lead from paint. The event had also live radio news transmission, and a local, Amharic-language newspaper (the Ethiopian Reporter) reported about the paint results.

Tadesse Amera from PAN Ethiopia featured in the Ethiopian Reporter news articleAn Opening Speech by representative of The Ministry of Environment and Forest

Ghana

NGO Ecological Restorations held a press conference calling on civil society, political entities and the public and private sector to join the effort to eliminate lead in paint. The following are some examples of media that was generated:

Ban use of lead based products

Jordan

Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) organized a public hearing and educational event in Irbid, a town in the northern part of Jordan, with the aim to create a discussion and remind the concerned institutions of their responsibilities. Community-based organizations and the Mayor of Kora (one of the main districts of Irbid) attended the meeting. The Director of LHAP made a detailed presentation about lead, including about the current Jordanian policy concerning lead in paint and with information from a brochure produced by LHAP after conducting a study in 2012. The brochure was reprinted and circulated to participants.

Participants expressed concern about the dangers associated with lead in paint and thus wish to lobby the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment to act to prevent the use of lead and come up with national legislation on the issue.

Media coverage of the event includes:

Participants at event in Irbid (Photo by LHAP)Participants listening to presentation at LHAP event

Kazakhstan

Greenwomen Environmental News Agency (Almaty, Kazakhstan) implemented the following activities during the week of action:

  • Online discussion among the members of Greenwomen’s Facebook group “Toxic Free Future” to highlight major problems associated with the presence of lead-based paint in Kazakhstan and other countries. 
  • Translation (English to Russian) of materials describing experiences of international and local NGOs, GAELP and IPEN to work towards elimination of lead-based paint. The materials were made available on Greenwomen’s Facebook page.
  • Preparation of a statement that includes the recommendations for improvement of the current situation about lead paint in Kazakhstan. The statement was sent to the Ministry of National Economy and the “Green Economy” Department of Ministry of Energy, as well as to the manufacturers producing paint in Kazakhstan.    

Lead in Paint week of action logo Russian

Nepal

Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) has organized week-long activities jointly with Government of Nepal, Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) and the Private & Boarding School Organization, Nepal (PABSON). Activities have included press releases; customization, publication and wide distribution of GAELP campaign materials; preparation and distribution of posters, flyers, and flex / wall painting (as well as their uploading to social media); mass dissemination of the mandatory lead paint standard of 90 ppm through dedicated radio, TV public service announcements and print media; a TV talk program on lead paint elimination; awareness-raising in five schools in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktpur Districts of Nepal; presentation on IPEN's Asia Lead Paint Elimination Campaign via a meeting in Kathmandu; and organization of a seminar on lead paint elimination with all concerned stakeholders, especially government agencies (Dept. of Environment, Dept. of Customs, Dept. of Education, etc.), paint industries, dealers and workers, consumers, professional associations, NGOs and the media.

The public service announcement can be viewed here

CEPHED public service announcement still CEPHED flyer lead paint elimination week Oct. 2015

Philippines

EcoWaste Coalition organized some 500 students, parents and teachers of Masambong Elementary School for an interactive awareness-raising program. Main activities included a talk on childhood lead exposure by Dr. Annabelle Sinlao, followed by an interactive storytelling on lead poisoning and preventive steps led by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan (author of the children's story book "The Colorful House") and Posh Develos (a celebrity) with support from a number of people, including Vergel Dyoco from the paint industry association.  

Read more about the event on EcoWaste Coaltion's blogspot

Read EcoWaste Coalition's press release: Groups Back Phase-Out of Lead Paint to Mark the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Children paint houses at EcoWaste Coalition's awareness-raising programEcoWaste Coalition's awareness-raising program

South Africa

In partnership with the Environment and Health Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council and the South African Paint Manufacturers’ Association, groundWork has prepared a media awareness campaign about the lead poisoning awareness week. Additionally, a social media campaign will be run throughout the week using #StopLeadPaint as the main focus of action.

Read groundWork / Friend's of the Earth South Africa's media advisory: Lead Exposure Dumbing Down Our Children

Sri Lanka

Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) will hold a roundtable discussion to promote implementation of the lead paint regulations gazetted in 2013 in Sri Lanka. The roundtable participants will include relevant government agencies, international organizations and paint manufacturers. Additionally, an article highlighting CEJ's work to eliminate lead in paint was published in the Daily Leader.

Daily Leader Lead Based Paints article

Uganda

The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) is creating awareness about the harmful aspects of lead by conducting lectures to pupils in primary schools on lead and lead poisoning, and the major pathways for exposure to lead poisoning including paints, batteries, lead-contaminated toys and lead-contaminated dust, among others.

Additionally, Geoffrey N. Kamese, NAPE's Senior Programme Officer of the Energy, Climate Change and Chemicals Management Programme, has written an article for the Ugandan daily New Vision, entitled, "Uganda Marks International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action."

Geoffrey Kamese educating kids at Standard Junior Primary School located in Zaana, Kampala City about lead hazardsChildren at Standard Junior Primary School promoting awareness about lead dangers