IPENers Back Accelerated Elimination of Lead Paints to End Childhood Lead Poisoning
Participating organizations (POs) of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) are taking part in the 11th edition of the annual International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week from October 22 to 28 that will put the spot light on lead, a major toxic threat to public health. With the end goal of protecting the health of children and other vulnerable groups such as women of reproductive age and workers, the POs will engage government, industry, and civil society stakeholders, as well as the media, to urge the authorities to adopt strong lead paint control instruments or push for effective monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in countries with existing lead paint laws.
IPEN is a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, a joint program of WHO and UNEP and convener of ILPPW. Since 2009, work conducted by IPEN, its member groups, and collaboration partners in the Alliance has ended manufacturing and selling lead paints by many companies, influenced the development of new regulatory controls in several countries, and supported stakeholders with tools they need to effect change.
Unfortunately, lead paint continues to be used in the majority of countries around the world. To move swiftly toward ending the use of lead paint, IPEN calls for national actions to adopt regulations banning the use of lead in all paint, and for listing of lead chromates, the pigments used in lead paints, under the Rotterdam Convention.
During ILPPW, IPEN POs will face the press, dialogue with policy makers, reach out to corporate executives, raise awareness and influence public opinion through the social media and other means in support of the global phase-out of paints containing lead additives. Some POs will use the occasion to advocate for the listing of lead chromates under the Rotterdam Convention’s prior informed consent (PIC) procedure to control the international trade of these most common lead-based pigments and the paints containing them.
Our Kids Can’t Wait, End Lead Paint Now
Southeast and East Asia
The Shenzhen Zero Waste/Toxics-Free Corps, Changsha Shuguang Environmental Protection Organization, and the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology Foundation plan to conduct an investigation on the prevailing situation of lead in paint in the country, and to advocate for improved market regulation of paint products. The investigation will run from August to December this year. The groups also plan to conduct a webinar on ending childhood lead poisoning.
The Gita Pertiwi will implement activities in line with the theme “Protect Children from Lead Poison.” There will be a talk show to discuss the dangers of exposure to lead paint and other related issues, and a “Declaration of Healthy School Canteens” in the City of Surakarta, with local government officials and other stakeholders present. A field visit will be made at the Surakarta City Smart Park with school children, the media and others in attendance to observe the current condition of the paint in playground equipment. These activities will be posted on social media during the Week of Action.
The Nexus3 Foundation, in line with the theme “End Childhood Lead Poisoning,” will hold a media gathering on October 24 to launch a new report documenting the blood lead levels of some paint factory workers. On October 27, another event will take place at the Apple Tree Pre-School in Lombok Mataram City where children and other stakeholders will learn about the dangers of lead in paint through coloring activities, photo opportunity, etc. Throughout the week, Nexus3 will raise awareness on various social media platforms, including a live discussion on Instagram about ILPPW 2023.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) will hold a press conference where the results of a study on lead in architectural, decorative, anti-corrosive, industrial as well as spray paints will be presented to the government and other stakeholders. The results are expected to assist in urging the authorities to make the voluntary lead paint standard for architectural and decorative paints mandatory, and to develop further regulations for all types of paints.
The EcoWaste Coalition will release a new report co-published with IPEN regarding the lead content of decorative and industrial paints sold in the Philippine market. The group will use the test results to advocate for improved compliance monitoring and enforcement of the country’s regulation banning lead in the manufacture of paints and in consumer products like toys. It will raise awareness on traditional and social media about the toxicity of lead and products containing lead compounds, and the need to protect children and other vulnerable populations against lead exposure. The group will further use the occasion to campaign for stricter global rules to control the trade in lead chromates.
The BAN Toxics will conduct an awareness raising activity and media event in a public school in Quezon City. The event will include a presentation on lead poisoning prevention by a medical expert, a toxic toy clinic activity, and Toxic-Free and Waste-Free School Program. The activity will be shown via FB Live. Social media campaign will continue for the rest of the week via the BAN Toxics social media pages.
The Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) will raise consumer awareness and promote regulatory action on lead-containing spray paints discovered during a sampling activity with the EcoWaste Coalition. It will use the social media to inform more people about this threat to public health.
The Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) will conduct an advocacy campaign about the lead paint situation in Thailand with reference to previous and current studies it conducted with IPEN on the lead content of paints sold in the country, as well as the levels of lead in playground equipment. EARTH will raise public awareness and promote the people’s right to pollution information using the group’s social media channels, etc.
The Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) will mobilize girl guides and boy scouts for a rally at major points in Dhaka City. ESDO will hold an art competition with the Bangladesh Shishu Academy, as well as brief the media about the results of a study on the lead content of toys sold in the market and its recommendations. It will further co-organize a policy dialogue with UNICEF, and conduct social media and SMS campaign throughout the week.
The Jagrata Juba Shangha (JJS) will hold two events to mark the ILPPW: 1) workshop with adolescent and youth leaders on finding ways to protect children from lead poisoning, and 2) children’s and parents’ mobilization involving the Khulna City Council and Child Protection Committee.
The Toxics Link will develop educational materials that will raise awareness on the issue of lead chromates used as pigments in paints. A fact sheet and infographic will be prepared highlighting the use of lead chromates by the paint industry. Target groups include the regulatory agencies, paint manufacturers, academics, and consumers.
The Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) will celebrate the ILLPW 2023 through an awareness raising and capacity building program in Lumbini Province. Aside from disseminating information materials and press releases, CEPHED will prepare, publish, and circulate a lead policy brief. It will organize a workshop for stakeholders in Nepalgunj, which is ranked 3rd among the provinces with high non-compliance to the country’s lead paint law. Additionally, CEPHED will prepare and advocate for the listing of lead chromates in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention with support from IPEN.
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) will raise public awareness about lead poisoning and draw the attention of policy makers and implementers towards this issue, which can have long term effects on children’s health. Print, electronic and social media will be used to raise awareness of target sectors, including healthcare professionals, academic researchers and the general public.
The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) will use various social media channels to raise people's awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
Middle East and North Africa
The Together to Protect Human & Environment Association will conduct online awareness sessions on October 28 targeting teachers, education officials and families to share information about the hazards of lead in paint and the ways for preventing lead exposure.
The Jordan Environment Society (JES) will conduct awareness-raising campaigns about the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week targeting students, teachers and local communities in Amman, Aljoun, Bani Kenanah, Irbid, and Jerash.
The Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) will work with decision makers, especially those from the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health, to come up with a national legislation banning lead in paint. Consultative meetings that will bring the two ministries together will be undertaken to facilitate cooperation and agreement to adopt the necessary legislation.
The Hands for Environment and Sustainable Development (HANDS) used various social media channels to raise people’s awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children’s health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
The Association d'Education Environnementale pour les Futures Générations (AEEFG) will advocate for the expedited finalization and release of the draft lead paint law by the Ministry of Environment. AEEFG will push for the law’s promulgation with the help of the media.
The AKO Foundation will organize activities to enhance the awareness of stakeholders about the issue of lead paint, obtain their support for legislative and policy measures, as well as behavioral adjustments, with the ultimate goal of eliminating lead in all its forms within Ghana.
The Centre for Environmental Justice and Development (CEJAD) will collaborate with the University of Nairobi to conduct advocacy campaigns on childhood lead exposure among community health workers with the aim of minimizing lead exposure at the household and community level. Awareness raising activities will also be conducted via social media platofrms.
The Centre for Earth Works (CFEW) will organize a week-long “Save the Children: End Lead Poisoning Campaign,” which will educate the students and staff of a community public primary school about the causes, symptoms, and consequences of lead exposure and preventive measures. The group will also organize a webinar on strategies for reducing lead poisoning in children involving various stakeholders, and further use the social media for its advocacy.
The Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev) will organize an inception workshop to strengthen the national capacity towards the elimination of lead paint in Nigeria with the participation of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and other key stakeholders, including Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and state agencies, among others.
The Rwandese Association of Ecologist (ARECO-RWANDA NZIZA) will conduct an awareness and advocacy campaign on lead poisoning risks and avoidance with particular attention on preventing childhood exposure. By engaging with key stakeholders, including the government, private sector, civil society and health partners, the group hopes to advocate for enabling policy and regulatory frameworks addressing the use of lead in the manufacture of paints.
The groundWork/Friends of the Earth South Africa will organize a seminar with particular emphasis on lead exposure. It will raise public awareness on lead paint and lead poisoning prevention through the social media.
The Occupational & Environmental Health Research Unit, University of Cape Town (South Africa) will use various social media channels to raise people's awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
The IRTECO will use various social media channels to raise people's awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints. It will also translate various campaign materials to Swahili so as to reach more people.
The AGENDA for Environment and Responsible Development (AGENDA) will release the results of their paint study to monitor paint companies’ compliance with the lead paint regulation adopted in 2016. AGENDA, in partnership with the National Poison Control Centre, will also convene a multi-stakeholder meeting with government regulators and paint manufacturers to discuss compliance mechanisms to the 90 ppm legal limit on lead in paint. AGENDA is also organizing a joint event with the Government Chemist Laboratory Agency (GCLA) and the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS). The event will also involve paint manufacturers and the media.
The Center for Citizens Conserving Environment & Management (CECIC) will promote awareness on lead poisoning sources, risks and prevention targeting students, parents, and community members in Kasese, Western Uganda.
The Children's Environmental Health Foundation (CEHF) will reach out to policy makers and implementers to support the drafting of a legislation eliminating lead in paint, and also to make the Zambian Standard No. 1185, which sets a 90 ppm limit for lead in paint, mandatory. Towards this, CEHF will meet the Mayor of Livingstone City, the Director General of Zambia Environmental Management Agency, as well as the Ministers of Commerce, Trade and Industry; Health; Green Economy and Environment; and Local Government and Rural Development.
The Association Jeunesse pour l'Environnement et le Développement Durable (AJEDD) will use various social media channels to raise people's awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
The Action des Femmes pour une Planète Bio (AFEPB) plans to hold a press conference to present the results of studies on lead in paints and raise stakeholders’ awareness about the dangers associated with the use of such paints and the need to advocate for compliance with the country’s lead paint regulation. They will also use social media to raise awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
The Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE) will raise awareness about the dangers of lead poisoning in children, the sources, symptoms and consequences of lead poisoning, and the ways of preventing it. YVE will advocate for the adoption and implementation of policies and standards to eliminate or reduce sources of lead exposure among children.
The Centre de Recherche et de l'Education Pour le Développement (CREPD) will share the findings of a new lead in paint study through the national press, including online media. Through various social media networks, CREPD will call for the full enforcement of the national regulation on lead in paint, as well as the necessity to have a global control on lead chromates, the main pigment used in producing lead paint, through the Rotterdam Convention.
The Appui aux Initiatives Communautaire de Conservation de l’Environnement et de Développement Durable (AICED Asbl) will use various social media channels to raise people's awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
The Action sur l’Environnement et le Développement (AED) will use the occasion to inform stakeholders who participated in the development of a draft decree on lead in paints and coating materials about the difficulty in getting it adopted. To facilitate the passage of the necessary lead paint control instrument, the group will promote the adoption of an inter-ministerial order by concerned ministries as an alternative option.
The Carbone Guinée will convene a national awareness and advocacy workshop to be attended by key stakeholders who will look at the draft lead paint regulation and discuss ways to facilitate its approval and implementation.
The Association Vie & Développement (AVD-Kowa Murna) will produce communication materials to raise the awareness of the general public on the risks of lead poisoning.
Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia
The Armenia Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) in cooperation with IPEN youth volunteers in the country will organize a webinar in Armenian language for science students of national universities, as well as teachers involved in past ILPPW activities. AWHHE will also spread information using the campaign materials produced by IPEN and the WHO.
The Ecological Society Ruzgar will organize a round table meeting on the prevention of lead paint pollution with experts from the science sector, industry, NGO, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, and other independent experts. Among other things, the opportunity to produce paints without lead to protect children’s health will be discussed.
The NGO Gamarjoba will raise public awareness about lead paint and lead poisoning prevention through the social media. It will prepare and distribute materials on the dangers of lead for the environment and human health, hold a discussion on NGO actions to eliminate lead, and research on adopted rules and measures to protect children’s health from the harm of lead paint.
The Greenwomen Analytical Environmental Agency will prepare and distribute materials to raise citizens’ awareness on the dangers of lead to human health and the environment, and hold discussions on actions to be taken to eliminate lead in paint and protect the health of children from lead exposure
The civil society association ECOIS-BISHKEK celebrated the ILPPW with a press café held in Bishkek addressing the topic of "The Harmful Effects of Lead on Children's Health." The group also had several media interviews and posted information through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Foundation to Support Civil Initiative (FSCI-Dastgiri Center) will raise stakeholders’ awareness on lead hazards and lead paint as a source of lead exposure. During the project implementation, FSCI will present the draft Technical Regulation on Lead Paint in Tajikistan, highlighting challenges in its approval and final adoption and its importance in addressing lead paint issues in the country.
The Chemical Safety Agency (CSA) will carry out activities aimed at strengthening control of lead sources and compliance with the requirements of the Technical Regulation restricting lead in paints and raw materials.
Latin America and the Caribbean
The Taller Ecologista will use various social media channels to raise people's awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
Asociación Colnodo will organize a multi-stakeholder meeting where a report providing new data on the lead content of solvent-based paints for home use sold in the market will be released and discussed. The report, jointly undertaken by Colnodo and IPEN, is expected to draw attention on the enforcement of the country’s lead paint regulation, which recognizes “the right of persons to develop physically and intellectually in a lead-free environment.”
The Red de Desarollo Sostenible (RDS) plans to organize a webinar where the results of the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) screening on the lead content of play equipment in some facilities will be presented and analyzed. Using an XRF spectrometer, the group checked the lead content of paints used to decorate children’s play equipment in several playgrounds in Bogota City, Parque Ciudad Tunal, Parque el Tintal, Parque Simon Bolivar, and others. The information will be published on the websites of Colnodo and Red de Desarrollo Sostenible and disseminated through their social media networks.
The Caribbean Poison Information Network (CARPIN) will conduct daily public awareness programs about lead exposure and the vulnerability of children using three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). It will also hold a webinar for teachers and early childhood institutions, share materials with the public libraries, and submit an article to the media to educate the public on lead exposure, including emerging sources of exposure such as lead acid battery recycling.
The Vías verdes Ac/Casa Cem will use various social media channels to raise people's awareness about lead exposure and its impact on children's health, and the need for preventive action, including eliminating lead paints.
The University Observatory of Food and Nutritional Security of the State of Guanajuato (OUSANEG) will hold a week of awareness raising about lead poisoning, particularly on the lead levels in air, water, and soil, and its impacts on food and nutrition security, and how to avoid or minimize lead exposure in children and other vulnerable groups. This will form part of the activities at the 13th International Forum on Food and Nutrition Security (FISANUT) and the 7th Nutrition Chair.
The LEAD Group Inc. will conduct a roundtable multi-stakeholder discussion to educate and raise public awareness about vulnerability of children to lead exposure and increase consumer awareness to prevent lead poisoning.