This project by Arnika Association, entitled 'Impact of heavy metals from Balkan power plants on inhabitants and the environment', focuses on the presentation and discussion of data related to contamination by heavy metals at selected locations in the Balkans. Sampling teams conducted monitoring in the field to obtain data about the impacts of coal fired power plants from emissions and releases (including ash ponds and dumps). The sampled sites were located in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.
Eco-Ethics International worked on community capacity building (centered in Owino Uhuru in Mombasa) that served to bring awareness and promote policy action concerning the dangerous levels of lead contamination (primarily through lead extraction from car batteries) that have been documented in the environment and in area residents.
The NGO Association du Reseau Mediterraneen Pour le Developpement Durable (AREMEDD) organized a series of SAICM-related awareness generating activities throughout Tunisia from February to October 2010. These activities, which included the active participation of local NGOs, involved educating students about the dangers of lead in paint and mercury in used batteries, farmers about the adapting alternatives to pesticides, and representatives from the iron and steel industries about the impact of heavy metals on biodiversity.
Through research, AGENDA learned about existing regulations (voluntary and compulsory) concerning lead in paints in Tanzania and collaborated with regulators to produce materials based on this information. Additionally, AGENDA used brochures, news articles, and a previous project report to inform paint producers, distributors, and consumers about the human and environmental hazards from leaded paint and leaded paint products.
UNETMAC collected samples from 50 paint containers to test for lead content. Samples were prepared in Uganda and sent to the US for analysis. Out of the eight brands of the paint samples tested, three brands were found to contain significant concentrations of lead. Additionally, 1,000 fact sheets about lead in paint were prepared, produced, and disseminated at a press conference and later at a workshop of the National Environment Management Authority.
By hosting and facilitating a series of Round Table Meetings with relevant government ministries and stakeholders, Forum for Justice (FFJ) created a platform that provided opportunities to share and provide detailed information about the SAICM. Meetings were organized to address particular themes: POPs, Lead, Mercury, and E-waste. In each of the meetings, baseline information was shared about each problem area and specific action plans were laid out to meet the SAICM 2020 objectives.
To determine whether toys sold in Tunisia contain high levels of dangerous heavy metals, Association pour la Protection de l'Environnement et Developpement Durable de Bizerte (APEDDUB) had samples of 24 toys commonly found in schools and markets in the city of Bizarte analyzed. Results showed that most toys contained heavy metals. In addition, although both non-Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) and PVC made toys contained high levels of lead and cadmium, toys made with PVC have significantly higher levels of these heavy metals and therefore are far more toxic.
To ensure that the residents of the Owinu Uhuru slum (Kenya) could protect themselves from dangerous smoke emitted from a local lead metal recovery factory, Eco-Ethics conducted an all encompassing campaign that included sample collection, awareness raising, community organizing, and mobilizing direct action. With the results of sampling showing high levels of lead contamination in blood, air, soil, and water, the community was mobilized to demand action from the factory officials concerning lead poisoning.
The EDEN Center conducted a ground-breaking assessment of the area around an abandoned battery plant to test for lead contamination. After a series of stakeholder meetings and workshops, residents of Uznova (Municipality of Berat) agreed to answer questions about lead exposure and give blood samples for testing. Air, soil, and water were also tested. A report with the findings of the assessment (and recommendations) was delivered to government agencies, shared with the community, and distributed through the media.
In 2010, Eco-Sense conducted a chemical assessment of 30 cosmetic and 30 household products found in local markets. The research resulted in a comprehensive list of chemicals present in these products, the risks linked to the chemicals found, and suggestions for chemical-free products that could be used by consumers as an alternative. In addition to a detailed report, colorful shopping guides with a picture of the product and a list of warning signs for consumers to use when choosing products were produced.