by Faye Leone, Content Editor, SDGs and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
NGOs in five countries studied playground equipment as part of their participation in the International Pollutants Elimination Network, and found lead levels as high as 100,000 ppm in the equipment paint.
The recommended limit by UNEP is 90 ppm.
IPEN is calling for lead paint bans to include industrial paint on outdoor equipment, not only decorative paint, to protect children's health.
Children’s playgrounds in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand commonly contain painted equipment with lead levels above 90 ppm, the recommended limit by UN Environment Program (UNEP). Organizations in each country studied playground equipment as part of their participation in the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), a group of NGOs working to prevent toxic chemicals from harming human health and the environment.
by Faridah Hussein Were Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University of Nairobi
Africa is facing a serious lead poisoning problem. In Senegal, for example, researchers linked the deaths of children from processing lead waste to supply a lead battery recycling plant in a poor suburb of Dakar.
In Kenya, the legacy of a shutdown lead-recycling plant is causing major health problems for people living in the neighbourhood. And in Nigeria an investigation by journalists showed how lead battery recycling facilities were poisoning workers and the people living in the area.
The problem is growing along with the market for lead batteries. This is due to lack of regulation and investment in environmentally sound battery recycling plants. Most facilities in Africa are small. They weren’t built with adequate pollution controls to prevent disasters and ongoing contamination.
The production of lead batteries is growing rapidly in Africa as the market for lead batteries expands. Global lead output continues to grow, with about 85% production going to make batteries.
We conducted a study around lead battery recycling plants in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Tunisia. Our results showed significant lead contamination around 15 licensed battery recycling plants. This shows that informal sector recycling is not the only source of lead pollution.
Jakarta, Indonesia – More than 60 people from government, industry, and civil society participated today in a workshop launching a project aimed at eliminating lead in paint in Indonesia. This initiative is part of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) project on global best practices for phasing out lead paint funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Quezon City. The phase-out of all types of lead-containing paints in the Philippines is an excellent example of a successful chemical policy directive aimed at preventing and reducing children’s exposure to lead, a highly toxic substance, from paints.