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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Lead in Paint

Participants of UNEP workshop agreed that African countries should adopt a lead limit for all paints of 90 parts per million.

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Addis Ababa, 4 December 2015 - Government officials and stakeholders from 15 African countries joined by their counterparts from around the world at a workshop jointly organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Persistent Organic Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) in Addis Ababa agreed to cooperate to phase out the use of lead in paint by 2020.

The release of lead into the environment poses significant risks to human health and the environment. World Health Organization lists lead exposure as one of the top ten environmental health threats globally. No level of lead exposure is safe for people, and children are especially vulnerable. Paints that contain lead additives pose a risk of lead poisoning, especially for young children.

On November 25th, Centre de Recherche et d’Education pour le Développement / Research and Education Centre for Development (CREPD), IPEN’s Regional Hub for Francophone Africa, held a stakeholders workshop in Yaoundé, Cameroon and publicly released their new paint analyses results. The paints had been tested for levels of lead content. Representatives from industry, government ministries, pediatricians, academia from the faculty of medicine, UNIDO (the United Nations Industrial Development Organization), NGOs, and the media attended the workshop.

The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, a voluntary partnership established to help achieve international goals to prevent children’s exposure to lead paint and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint, has featured IPEN's successful Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project in its new newsletter, stating, "Through the work of Alliance Partner IPEN and its partners in its EU-funded Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project, several countries in Asia have enacted or are planning to enact new limits on lead in paint."

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