Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev) surveyed and interviewed employees of three Lagos area hospitals to document how mercury-containing devices are handled and disposed of. Questions were also asked about employee’s opinions concerning the transition of non-mercury-containing thermometers. Results of the surveying were then shared with relevant stakeholders at a day-long workshop at which potential policy and regulation changes concerning mercury use in hospital devices were discussed.
Monitoring and Inventories
Volgograd-Ecopress hosted a workshop on the use of non-combustion technologies for the elimination of obsolete pesticide stockpiles responsible for widespread environmental and human health impacts in Russia. With the participation of local authorities, academia, NGOs, and managers of industrial facilities, modern waste management technologies were presented and regional plans of action were discussed. A special case study of a successful pesticide elimination project using a non-combustion technology of biodegradation based on bioglauconite use was presented.
Centro de Diagnostico y Alternativas para Afectados por Tóxicos (CEDAAT) conducted research and public awareness activities to help communities in their demands against pollution coming from the ECOLTEC plant (a waste facility that produced fuel for cement kilns) in Mexico. ECOLTEC declared in an Environmental Impact Assessment that they would produce Volatile Organic Compounds, and the standard for cement kilns includes a series of dangerous heavy metals.
Volgograd Ecopress conducted a campaign to promote a regional management system designed to address a growing threat of mercury containing waste (light bulbs, medical equipment, etc.) contaminating the Volga River and Caspian coastal area. Consultations were first held with environmental authorities in the region to assess the existing challenges in handling the mercury containing waste.
In collaboration with medical officials, Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) organized medical clinics to pre-screen agricultural workers at risk for kidney disease resulting from exposure to arsenic in pesticides. In several of these clinics (as well as outside of the clinics), CEJ conducted small discussion groups at which farmers were given brochures highlighting the dangers of illegal and highly dangerous pesticides and notifying them of their rights.
Using waste management best practices modelled after those in the EU, Zelena akcija developed and implemented a pilot waste management program with a variety of activities involving local community organizations, government officials, and public citizens.
In an effort to create public awareness about illegal waste incineration in the Czech Republic as well as the larger issue of waste incineration residues in general, Arnika conducted several activities. The first involved sampling for PCB, dioxins, and PAH residues at a waste site and making the results public through mass media. Subsequently, a workshop on POPs wastes and waste incineration was organized for Czech NGOs, with 22 participants. A joint declaration from the workshop was created, as well as the formation of a new network.
Using analyses of paint samples from manufacturing and importing companies servicing the Amman marketplace, Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) was able to create awareness about high levels of lead in paints found in everyday paints. Along with educational materials produced specifically with the results of the analyses, community discussion groups (3 public hearings) were conducted to further communicate the impact of lead in paint. Social media was also used to achieve widespread media and public notice.
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.