Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have received significant public and media attention in the US, EU, and Australia, in part due to their toxicity, extreme persistence, and documented water pollution. However, information about PFAS in other parts of the world is largely lacking and the information which is available is difficult to access.
Over the past few months, IPEN Participating Organizations in twelve Middle Eastern and Asian countries conducted surveys to explore possible PFAS uses and pollution sources, scientific studies and government actions, including under the Stockholm Convention. Countries covered include: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) in Consumer Products Made of Recycled Plastic from Eleven Arabic and African Countries
Both the environment in Africa and the Arabic region and the human health of Africans and people from Arabic countries suffer from toxic chemicals and imported wastes, including illegal wastes, more than in developed countries.
Plastic pollution is spread across lands, beaches, and oceans. Small particles of plastic, called microplastics, are persistent in marine ecosystems, and can be found in our food and salt (Borrelle et al., 2017). Plastic pollution has a variety of impacts, from effects on biodiversity and ecosystems, to food quality and human health, but it is still not well characterized and needs more research attention.
Bangkok, Thailand - IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) from Jordan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam actively participated in a regional workshop for Asia-Pacific promoting regulatory and voluntary actions by government and industry to phase out lead in paint. Completing the 10-member civil society delegation were the IPEN regional coordinators for South Asia (SA) and Southeast and East Asia (SEA) and the IPEN Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign team.
The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Regional Meeting for Asia Pacific was held from March 4th-8th, 2019 in Suzhou, China.
IPENers from four different countries participated in the meeting representing the Asia Pacific region of IPEN.
Prior to the regional meeting, an IPEN preparatory meeting was held, along with an experience-sharing session with students from Duke University and fellow NGOs from China. This was organized by Shenzhen Zero Waste at Duke University, Kunshan, and took place on March 3rd.
Sustainable Development Policy Institute has released a new report on mercury exposure from skin whitening creams in Pakistan. Read the executive summary below and download the full publication at the link above.
Baghdad, Iraq. The first study on lead content in Iraqi paints for home use was released today by Together to Protect Human & the Environment Association (Together) and IPEN, with facilitation of the Ministry of Health & Environment. It reveals that more than 70 percent of the analyzed paint brands sold one or more paint that contained total lead concentrations exceeding 90 parts per million (ppm)—the maximum allowed limit in e.g., the United States, India and Kenya, and also the limit recommended by the UN Environment Programme for all paint. Furthermore, a yellow Al-Marjan Gloss Enamel Paint contained the highest amount of lead at 110,000 ppm.
“The exposure to lead, even at low levels, affects a child’s brain development leading to lasting effects throughout life such as lower IQ, poorer performance in school, and impulsive and violent behavior,” said Saadia Hassoon, Chairman, Together. “Such effects impacts work performance in the long term, so there is no better time to act but now. Otherwise, we will imperil our children’s intellectual growth and consequently reduce Iraq’s future intellectual capacity and economic success even though safe and effective alternatives are already in use and widely available. It is therefore important to eliminate this dangerous source of lead exposure to young children.”
The IPEN Middle East & North Africa (MENA) regional newsletter (January - June 2018) shares news about different activities and projects of Participating Organizations (POs) in the region. Some of the projects were supported by IPEN. The newsletter aims to raise awareness about the different activities POs are working on, share information within the region, and exchange expertise. In this newsletter, information about incineration, plastics, Earth Day, lead in paint, the Minamata Convention, electronics, and government decisions on the environment are highlighted.