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A Toxics-Free Future


Groups Unite to Phase Out Lead in Paint

IPEN POs Step Up Campaign for Global Phase-Out of Lead Paints in time for the 9th International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Forty-eight IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) from 35 countries will take part in the upcoming International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPW) on 24-30 October 2021. With the theme “Working Together for a World Without Lead Paint,” various activities will be carried out to emphasize the need to accelerate progress toward the global phase-out of lead-containing paints through regulatory and legal measures. Additionally, IPEN will organize a webinar on “Catalyzing the Global Phase-Out of Lead Paints,” which will discuss how listing lead pigments in the Rotterdam Convention will advance global lead paint elimination; help countries adopt and enforce lead paint control regulations; and make exporting countries assume major responsibilities for the control of lead pigments and the lead paints that contain them.

Now on its ninth year, the week of action aims to raise awareness about the health effects of lead exposure; highlight the efforts of countries and partners to prevent lead exposure, particularly in children; and to urge further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at country level. The ILPPW, which counts on the participation of IPEN and many of its POs from low- and middle- income countries, is an initiative of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, which is jointly led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Anglophone Africa

THE GAMBIA. The Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE), in partnership with National Environment Agency, plans to raise public awareness on lead poisoning prevention action through various media channels, as part of the group’s advocacy toward the elimination of lead paint in The Gambia. The “Ban Lead Paint” Campaign also aims to raise awareness among regulators on the need to establish lead paint regulations in the country.

NIGERIA. The Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev) will be holding a one-day workshop focused on raising awareness and educating small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) about the hazards of lead paint, the progress of the ongoing paint reformulation process with the SMEs and the government, and the next steps toward eliminating lead paint in Nigeria. The activity will be publicized through broadcast, print and online media.

TANZANIA. The Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) will conduct a one-day online zoom class training for journalists, including technical sessions, on lead paint and lead poisoning prevention. JET will also arrange for field visits to help participating journalists in preparing their articles and reports for the ILPPW.

TANZANIA. The Agenda for Environment and Responsible Development (AGENDA) will promote the enforcement of the 90 ppm national and regional (East Africa) lead paint standard. As the awareness among key stakeholders regarding lead paint and its impact is still low, AGENDA aims to secure resources to support the implementation and enforcement of the standard to protect human health and the environment from the effects of lead. As a member of the National Technical Committee for Paints and Allied Products Standards, AGENDA is also involved in the review of five draft standards that are being discussed for adoption by East Africa member states.

UGANDA. The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) will hold a talk show on the Community Green Radio to discuss lead exposure and the need to have a functional policy regulating lead-added paints in Uganda. Government officials from Kiboga District, representatives from paint companies, and civil society leaders will be invited to the conversation over radio.

UGANDA. The Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control (UNETMAC) will conduct a review of prevailing lead poisoning regulations in Uganda. Also, 240 copies of lead poisoning reduction policy briefs will be prepared, produced and disseminated at a press conference to be attended by journalists from both the print and electronic media and addressed by government and industry officials, particularly from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as well as paint manufacturers/dealers in Uganda.

UGANDA. The Western Media for Environment and Conservation (WEMECO) will hold a media briefing to create awareness about the negative impacts of lead that is still used in Uganda in products such as paints, and also to ask questions to officials in charge of product standards regarding the government’s response to lead contaminated goods on the market.

ZAMBIA. The Children’s Environmental Health Foundation (CEHF) will hold an event to launch the country’s lead paint regulation with the newly elected Zambian president at the helm. The event will be followed by a march through the Livingstone business center involving key stakeholders. Other high officials are expected to address the event. CEHF will also tap community radios to inform the public about the regulation.

Francophone Africa

BENIN. GAPROFFA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, plans to sensitize concerned stakeholders about the ongoing efforts to adopt a lead paint regulation, including the necessary sanctions toward the elimination of lead paints in the country.

BEIN. The La Grande Puissance de Dieu will utilize the social media to sensitize the people about lead paint risks and generate support for lead paint elimination.

CAMEROON. The Centre de Recherche et d'Education pour le Développement (CREPD) will visit a few paint retail shops in Yaoundé, record the oil-based paints that do not carry labeling information indicating their lead content as required by the existing regulation, and then call the attention of the competent authorities. Through this action, CREPD hopes to contribute to the full enforcement of the national lead paint regulation.

CAMEROON. The Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement (JVE) will conduct activities to remind stakeholders to comply with the national regulation on lead in paints. These activities will take place in a few schools in the city of Yaoundé and at the JVE headquarters.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE. The Action sur l'Environnement et le Développement (AED) will hold a round table meeting to raise stakeholders’ awareness about the draft decree regulating lead paint and similar coating products in the Republic of the Congo. The draft decree is undergoing institutional clearance prior to formal issuance.

COTE D’IVOIRE. The Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement (JVE) will inform the communities of Yopougon and Bingerville about the need to adopt a lead paint law in Côte d'Ivoire through the distribution of posters summarizing the results of past studies and posting of a video in communication channels. A letter will also be sent to remind the Prime Minister about the urgency of finalizing the draft lead paint regulation.

SENEGAL. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Africa will carry out a media campaign to promote the elimination of lead paint in Senegal. It will organize information activities to raise public awareness about the hazards of lead-containing paint and generate support toward the phase-out of such paints.

TOGO. The Les Amis de la Terre (ADT-Togo) will bring together officials from the Ministries of Environment and Health, parliamentarians and members of civil society for a discussion on the risks associated with lead paint and the ways and means to urgently achieve a regulation limiting the amount of lead in paint at 90 ppm.

Middle East and North Africa

EGYPT. The Kenana Association for Sustainable Development and Women Empowerment will convene a virtual meeting involving stakeholders in Sohag in line with its advocacy to have a law enacted that will forbid lead in paint production. It also plans to prepare and distribute advocacy bulletin among decision makers to inform them about the dangers of lead in paint and the need for a lead paint law.

IRAQ. Al-Rafidain Center for Health Development will spearhead a dialogue aimed at highlighting the need for a legislation in Iraq prohibiting the use of lead in paint to protect public health. Environmental expert Louay Al-Mukhtar, former head of the chemical control department at the Ministry of Environment, will serve as resource person.

JORDAN. The Jordan Environment Society (JES) will implement awareness-raising activities to get rid of lead in paint in cooperation with the Regional Center for Environmental Health, World Health Organization. Brochures, posters, t-shirts, caps, cloth bags and masks will be distributed to the campaign participants in Amman, Jerash, Ajloun, Irbid and the North Shouneh.

JORDAN. The Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) will reach out to policy makers to press the government to adopt a national legislation on lead-free paint. This will be done through a review of the Model Law and Guidance for Regulating Lead Paint with a group from the Ministry of Environment (MoE) followed by a presentation of the recommendations to the MoE’s National Hazardous and Harmful Substance Committee.

TUNISIA. The Association de l'Education Environnementale pour les Futures Générations (AEEFG) and the Ministry of Environment are planning to organize a stakeholder meeting during the ILPPW to publicly announce the ministerial decree on lead paint. The draft regulation sets a total lead limit of 90 ppm in paints. They also plan to share information and video about lead paint elimination via their Facebook page.

South Asia

BANGLADESH. The Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) will mark this year’s ILPPW with three events: a webinar on lead poisoning and an essay competition for high school students, a human chain involving girl guides and university students, and a round table meeting targeting government officials and paint industry leaders. The planned efforts will push for a total ban on lead-containing paints in Bangladesh. The group also plans to publicize the results of its study on lead paints — including solvent-based decorative, anticorrosive, and industrial paints — sold in local markets in Bangladesh.

INDIA. Arulagam will conduct multiple activities to raise awareness and enhance compliance to India’s lead paint regulation in the state of Tamil Nadu. To kick off the campaign, the group will file a Right to Information petition to know the ground truth on the implementation of lead pollution prevention rules to be followed by a petition addressed to key officials about the lack in implementation of the said rules. The group will also host a round table meeting with the paint manufacturers’ association to understand the challenges being faced by micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in switching to lead-free paint production. Pamphlets will be prepared and used to sensitize members of the painters’ association and labor unions about the hazards of lead paint. The group will also tap the social media to promote the elimination of lead in paints.

INDIA. The Paryavaran Mitra will send letters to 1) governmental authorities to press for the strict implementation of lead paint rules, 2) local paint manufacturing association to urge companies to follow the rules, and to the 3) medical association to secure their involvement in raising awareness about lead poisoning, especially its effects on children. The group plans awareness-raising activities with school children and college students through informative talk, poster making competition and posts on social media.

INDIA. The Toxics Link will conduct a mass awareness around the theme "Working Together for a World Without Lead Paint." The group will organize a short video competition to create awareness among students about the health and environmental issues from lead paint exposure. It will get articles published in national magazines, newspapers and online portals to increase consumer awareness on the issue and highlight the country’s lead paint regulation. It will also arrange for social media posts to increase public awareness about the matter.

NEPAL. The Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) will conduct provincial level advocacy and awareness-raising toward the effective implementation of the national lead paint standard adopted by the government in 2014. CEPHED will use the occasion to share among stakeholders in seven provinces the new data generated through a WHO-supported lead paint standard compliance monitoring initiatives and other activities, including a new study on the lead content of spray paints sold in the market. Additionally, it will organize a webinar on the “Effective Implementation of Lead Paint Standards in Nepal.”

SRI LANKA. With “Lead Safe – Child Safe” as theme, the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) will conduct a series of virtual awareness sessions in observance of the ILPPW through social media using Facebook posts and a short video clip. The group will also conduct lead in paint testing and release the results during the week, together with in-house produced materials and videos on lead poisoning and prevention. Letters will be sent to paint manufacturers to pressure them to adhere to the regulations. Letters will also be sent to the authorities to urge them to monitor compliance to the regulations.

Southeast and East Asia

CHINA.The Shenzhen Zero Waste/Toxics-Free Corps will organize a webinar to release the results of its investigation regarding the sale of lead-containing paints on e-commerce platforms, and to discuss necessary actions to promote full compliance to China's new lead paint standard that entered into force in December 2020. Resource persons representing concerned stakeholders, including those from the government, will be invited to speak.

INDONESIA. The Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) will disseminate its recommendations for regulatory options that will contribute to the elimination of lead in paint in Indonesia. ICEL, in collaboration with Nexus3 Foundation, will also approach the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Commerce, and Ministry of Industry to explore possible opportunities for regulating lead paint.

INDONESIA. Gita Pertiwi will organize activities around the theme “Promoting Lead Safe Kindergarten Schools and Playgrounds.” Webinars via Zoom will be held in collaboration with the Integrated Family Planning and Health Center (Posyandu) and some kindergarten teachers with presentations from the representatives of the Education Office/School Development Team/Madrasah Health Unit (UKS/M), Surakarta City Health Office, Gita Pertiwi and a paint factory. Videos related to lead safe paint will also be prepared and shared through Gita Pertiwi’s social media. As part of the campaign, lead-free paints will be provided to several kindergarten schools.

INDONESIA. The Nexus3 Foundation will draw attention to “Lead Safe Paints to Protect Our Children” through social media activities via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, podcast, and YouTube talk show during the week of action. The group will also publicly release a new report on the lead content of solvent-based paints in the Indonesian market. In collaboration with partners from the public and private sectors, Nexus3 will repaint five playgrounds in Jakarta City with lead safe paints. Press release

MALAYSIA. Towards eliminating lead paint in Malaysia, the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) will spearhead a webinar to raise awareness on lead paint issues and the need for a legally binding control on lead paint to safeguard public health. The group will issue a press statement calling on the government to expedite a draft law to eliminate lead in paint. It will also post on its social media sites posters made by students on lead paint and lead poisoning prevention.

PHILIPPINES. The EcoWaste Coalition will release a new report that will provide the first publicly available data on lead content of industrial paints sold in the Philippines. During the Week of Action, the group will also unveil a mural espousing the right of all children to live, play and learn in a lead-safe environment at a public elementary school in Quezon City, the first local government unit in the country to enact an ordinance requiring the use of certified lead-safe paints for publicly funded construction, maintenance and renovation projects and activities. Through this visual art, the group hopes to rekindle public awareness and support for a lead-safe children’s environment in line with the Chemical Control Order banning lead in paint manufacturing. Press Release

PHILIPPINES. The Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability, Inc. (IDIS) will conduct an activity in line with the theme “Lead Safe Davao City: Enhancing Lead Exposure Prevention through Policy and Multimedia.” This activity will provide an avenue to discuss existing and emerging concerns on lead in paints and raise public awareness regarding the effects of lead poisoning on health and the environment. Further, this activity will also provide an opportunity to highlight existing measures taken by the national and local governments, as well as private institutions to address the lead poisoning concern.

PHILIPPINES. The Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) will reach out to the City of San Fernando, recipient of the 2021 Most Improved Local Government Unit in Environmental Health Services, to encourage the authorities to adopt an ordinance that will require the purchase and use of certified lead-safe paints for construction, maintenance and renovation activities in the thriving Zero Waste city, particularly for government-funded projects.

VIETNAM.The Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) will release its latest report showing the lead concentrations of solvent-based paints sold in Vietnam, and the lead exposure among Vietnamese painters and pre-school children. The report will be publicly available through the CGFED’s website and Facebook account. Journalists, as well as domestic paint producers and the Vietnam Paint and Printing Ink Association, will be provided with the report summary. Press Release (Vietnamese)

Latin America and the Caribbean

COLOMBIA. Asociación COLNODO will raise awareness about the benefits of Law 2041 of 2020, which guarantees the right of people to develop physically and intellectually in a lead-free environment. It will do this through the use of the website and biweekly newsletter of the Red de Desarollo Sostenible de Colombia. The group will also implement a social media strategy, particularly through Facebook and Twitter, to further spread the information to a wider audience.

COLOMBIA. The Red de Desarollo Sostenible de Colombia will disseminate information about the health problems caused by lead through its website, as well as help in promoting the Law 2041 of 2020, which limits the use of lead paint, particularly in items used by children.

JAMAICA. With “Breaking the Toxic Cycle! Reducing Lead Exposure!” as the theme, the Caribbean Poison Information Network (CARPIN) based in the University of Technology, Jamaica will conduct a public information drive through a webinar and social media activities with parents, teachers and the general public as target audience. Social media will have daily activities to engage viewers, including quizzes, "show and tell" and a mini-podcast.

MEXICO. Casa Cem, with support from various groups and individuals, will send a letter to the Mexican government requesting for the immediate adoption of the Lead in Paint Standard, which is not enforced because it has not been published for mandatory compliance.

Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

ARMENIA. During the week of action, the Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) will focus in influencing the procurement policies of the education sector with respect to paint products. AWHHE will urge the Procurement Department of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Armenia to ban the purchase and use of lead-based paints for the construction or renovation of educational, cultural and recreational facilities for children and youth. AWHHE will advocate for lead limits of 90 ppm in decorative paints with the Department of Eurasian Economic Commission and Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia. A leaflet discussing the dangers of leaded paints will be published and disseminated via social media and NGO websites.

AZERBAIJAN. The Ecological Society “Ruzgar” will organize a national conference on lead in paints targeting participants from the government, industry, civil society and the media. Invited experts will talk about the health effects of lead in paints, the scientific basis of lead-free paint production, and the importance of passing a law restricting lead in paints.

GEORGIA. Under the theme “New Lead in Paint Law, New Actions,” Gamarjoba will carry out awareness raising activities targeting paint manufacturers, distributors and sellers, as well as the general public and the media, to inform them about the recently adopted regulation on lead in paint. A public discussion about the country’s lead paint law will be held. The group will also prepare and disseminate infographics and a short video explaining the problem with lead paint, as well as simplified information about the new lead paint regulation.

KAZAKHSTAN. Greenwomen will use the ILPPW to call for an end to lead-based paints by sharing best practices and actions related to eliminating such paints, including the Ukrainian experience. In partnership with students at Narxoz University in Almaty, Greenwomen will develop and disseminate three short videos on actions that should be taken to eliminate lead paint for women and youth, for the government, and for the industry.

RUSSIA. The Eco-Accord will hold a webinar on “Eliminating Lead in Paint for Clean Environment, People’s Health and Sustainable Development.” It will bring together key stakeholders from governmental institutions, parliamentarians, academicians, paint producers and traders, NGOs, representatives from the Eurasian Economic Commission, international organizations, and other interested stakeholders from EECCA countries.

TAJIKISTAN. The Foundation to Support Civil Initiatives (FSCI-Dastgirie Center) will organize a round table discussion in commemoration of the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The event will be devoted to the development of technical regulations on paint and varnish materials in Tajikistan.

UKRAINE. The Chemical Safety Agency (CSA) plans to organize activities to promote the newly adopted Technical Regulation on lead in paints in Ukraine, which will enter into force in November 2021. Aside from a media event to celebrate this momentous occasion, CSA will produce information materials, organize “Lead in your living environment” activities, and use various social media platforms to raise awareness about lead hazards and lead poisoning preventive measures.

Central, Eastern and Western Europe

ALBANIA. The project “Eliminate Lead – Be Safe!” led by Eden Center seeks to raise awareness on lead poisoning through informative and interactive activities. The project team will organize a workshop in the center of Tirana City about lead in paint and the current state of contamination of lead and other toxic elements in Albania. During the week of action, three infographics will be disseminated through social media channels and EDEN Center’s partners. Eventually, a TV appearance/radio show or a podcast episode will be conducted to communicate the results of the campaign and other activities.