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A Toxics-Free Future

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Middle East and North Africa

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.

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.

https://sdpi.org/publications/files/MercuryPoisoningAssociatedwithInernationalandLocalSkinWhiteningreamsinPakistan.pdf

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.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/267465/kp-govt-bans-mercury-dental-fillings-for-children/

The action has been taken in the backdrop of a research-based campaign launched by SDPI in print and social media

ISLAMABAD: The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has immediately restricted the use of mercury dental fillings for children below 15 throughout the province to protect them from catching serious diseases.

IPEN PO and Regional Hub, l'Association de l'éducation environnementale pour les futures générations (AEEFG), co-organized a meeting in Tunisia on the "Substitution of lead in industrial paint in Tunisia" under the SwitchMed Programme on June 19thand 20th. Around 50 stakeholders representing industry, Ministries, academia and civil society met to exchange experiences on lead paint in Tunisia, and to discuss next steps towards eliminating lead paint in Tunisia.

A technical guideline on replacing lead in anticorrosive paint developed by AEEFG, in collaboration with IPEN experts, was presented and welcomed by industry representatives. The outcomes of the meeting included support from key stakeholders for banning lead paint in Tunisia. AEEFG´s Executive Director Semia Gharbi played a key role in planning the meeting and facilitating stakeholder dialogue.   

The IPEN MENA Regional Meeting convened from October 31st to November 2nd, 2017 in Hammamet, Tunisia

The IPEN Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Meeting was hosted and organized by Association d'Education Environnementale pour la Future Génération (AEEFG), the IPEN Hub for the MENA region. Topics covered at the meeting focused on the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals
Management (SAICM), lead in paint, women and chemicals, building capacities, and the GEF Small Grants Program. Participating Organizations (POs) in attendance were also updated on the outcomes of the Minamata Convention’s 1
st Conference of the Parties (COP1) and the Stockholm Convention’s 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8).

The newsletter features updates from IPEN Participating Organizations on some of their work in the region, including from Lebanese Environment Forum, Association de la Protection de l’environnement et de Développement de Bizerte (ABEDDUB), IndyACT, Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) and Association d’Education Environnementale pour la Future Génération (AEEFG).

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