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A Toxics-Free Future


Tanzania to Eliminate Lead in Paint by 2020

Tanzania Bureau of Standards’ Acting Director General, Engineer Edna Ndumbaro, has announced that Tanzania plans, over the next four years, to remove all paints with lead substances from the market.

In addition, government representatives from Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to work to revise the lead limit of the current East African Community (EAC) standards on various types of paint to 90 ppm total lead.

These announcements were made at a two-day East Africa Workshop on the Development of National and Regional Regulations and Standards for Lead in Paint held 12-14 September in Dar es Salam, Tanzania.

The EAC standards, adopted earlier this year, must be implemented nationally by the five Community countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda) at latest by November 2016. Because of its hazardous properties, the limit of lead in paint will be legally binding in all EAC countries, coming into force within 1-3 years.

Acknowledging the leadership of the EAC in adopting a mandatory standard limiting the use of lead in paint, Tanzanian officials agreed to develop a justification to amend the lead limit in the EAC paint standard by October 2016. Kenya has offered to explore hosting a regional harmonization meeting to agree on a draft, amended EAC standard for lead in paint, along with next steps and timeline for finalization. 

“No safe level of lead exposure has been established. Lead paint is a major route for lead exposure, especially in children. Estimated reduced cognitive potentials due to preventive childhood exposure translate to 134.7 billion US dollars of economic loss to Africa,” Ms. Mdumbaro said.

Members of IPEN’s Lead Paint Elimination Campaign attending the meeting were Dorah Swai (AGENDA, Tanzania), Silvani E. Mng’anya (AGENDA, Tanzania), Griffins  Ochieng (Centre for Environment Justice and Development, Kenya), Atalo Belay (Pan Ethiopia. Ethiopia) and Sara Brosché (IPEN, Sweden).