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.
The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) first started working on Lead (Pb) paint elimination back in 2009. Ever since, CEJ engaged in advocacy, research, awareness and campaigning in order to make the Sri Lankan paint market lead safe. The purpose of this study was to monitor whether decorative paints with high lead levels are still being sold in Sri Lanka eight years after government restrictions were imposed in 2013.
Six IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) in South and Southeast Asia conducted new analytical studies on solvent-based paints, including industrial paints, that are sold in the local market. The studies show that lead paints are still manufactured and/or sold in countries where lead paint laws exist such as in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam, and moreso in Indonesia which has yet to adopt a legally binding lead paint law. The results, released during the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, justify the POs’ continuing campaign to ban the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale, and use of all lead-containing paints to protect human health and the environment.
Most highly industrial countries adopted laws or regulations to control the lead content of decorative paints—the paints used on the interiors and exteriors of homes, schools, and other child-occupied facilities—beginning in the 1970s and 1980s. In Bangladesh, ESDO has been working with key government agencies since 2010 to establish a specific regulation on lead in paint. ESDO has prepared a draft regulatory framework and guideline, and submitted it to the Department of Environment (DOE).
Over the course of this project, India witnessed a massive surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The use of chemicals such as sanitizers, disinfectants, hand washes, soaps, etc. has increased during the pandemic to mitigate the effects of the virus. Additionally, during the pandemic, products such as masks, sanitizers, hand gloves, shields, etc. have contributed to increasing household waste, as well as plastic waste.
The Gujarat government decided to resume economic activities during the COVID-19 lockdown period in the state as per the Central Government Guidelines, and it received a widespread response. On the first day of re-opening of the industrial units on April 20, around 6,000 industries restarted their activities, and about 40,000 to 45,000 workers restarted their jobs. However, industrial associations said that not all those who got permission to re-open were able to start operations due to a labor shortage.
Gothenburg, Sweden Toxic chemicals in plastic waste exports from wealthy countries are contaminating food in developing/transition countries around the world, according to a new study released today by the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN).
Virtually all plastics contain hazardous chemical additives. Most of the plastic waste exported from wealthy countries to countries with developing economies or economies in transition is landfilled, burned, or dumped into waterways. All of these disposal methods result in highly toxic emissions that remain in the environment for decades and build up in the food chain.
For this study, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in fourteen countries which in many cases receive plastic waste from abroad collected free-range chicken eggs in the vicinity of various plastic waste disposal sites and facilities. The egg collection sites included plastic and electronic waste yards; waste dumpsites with significant amounts of plastic wastes; recycling and shredder plants which deal with significant amounts of plastic waste; and waste incineration and waste-to-energy operations.
Colombo, Sri Lanka For days it stood burning off the Sri Lanka coast, plumes of thick dark smoke that could be seen from miles away. But the X-Press Pearl has now fallen silent, lying half sunken off the coast of Sri Lanka, its hull resting on the shallow ocean bed.
But though the flames have now been doused - the problems have only just begun.
Kathmandu, Nepal The World Wildlife Fund-WWF Nepal has awarded the ‘WWF Nepal Conservation Award 2020 to the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) for the latter’s efforts at biodiversity and environment conservation. The award was presented at a virtual award ceremony on Wednesday afternoon for CEPHED’s initiatives for eliminating POPs and Mercury from the country’s health sector.