Sunday, October 21, 2018

Global Lead Week of Action calls for ban on lead paint

Series of lead paint studies in Nepal revealed that the amount of lead content in the paint produced, imported, marketed and used in Nepal has decreased. The compliance monitoring of lead paint standard carried out by Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE) in the year 2016 showed only 30 per cent paints comply with the standard. However, similar study carried out by CEPHED a year later in 2017 with the support of World Health Organisation (WHO) showed increased compliance of lead paint standard by 60 per cent of paints, a very remarkable achievement by the paints industries in Nepal. "And it needs to be continued improvement towards reaching 100 per cent compliance to eliminate leaded paints from Nepal thus protecting public health and environment," according to executive director and environment scientist of CEPHED Ram Charitra Sah.
Though the compliance of lead paint standards increased over the years, some of the paint products – mainly from the domestic paints industries – are still found extremely very high up to 50347 ppm, he added.
"Therefore, a regular monitoring of lead paints marketed in Nepal has been planned by the Department of Environment," said director general of Department of Environment Jhalak Ram Adhikari. "Research indicates that legislation alone is not enough to keep children safe," he said, adding, "Not only should regulation set total lead limits below 90 ppm in all paints, but enforcement and monitoring are essential."
'There are no safe levels of lead exposure,' urgently calls for effective implementation of lead paint standard and harmonisation of sectorial laws like proper inclusion of the mandatory provision of lead paint standard in NS Mark criteria, Building Codes, Green Building guidelines and colour coding guidelines of school infrastructure including school building bus, toiles and even public vehicle like taxi. The major goal of the Global Lead Week of Action is working together to 'Ban on Lead Paint'.
Environmental health, child health advocates, governments and paint industries are uniting this week – from October 21 to 27 – for the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action. Calling for protections for the 857 million children ages 0-9 years old, who live in countries with no protective lead paint regulations, organisations in 30 countries, coordinating with the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint – a voluntary partnership hosted by the UN Environment Programme and the World Health Organisation (WHO) – urge governments to adopt and effectively implement legislation to protect children’s health.
In Nepal, Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) jointly with the Department of Environment, Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE) and with the support of WHO country Office for Nepal and IPEN organising series of awareness and policy influences programme for the sectorial commitment towards enhancing effective implementation of lead paint standard and opt for harmonising the sectorial laws.
Lead paint – a major source of childhood lead exposure – can cause permanent and irreversible brain damage in children. Lead exposure globally accounted for 540,000 deaths and 13.9 million years lost to disability and death due to long-term effects on health, with the highest burden in developing regions. Some 857 million Children worldwide are at the risk of lead exposure. From 65 per cent to 100 per cent of 10,150,770 young people under 15 years old (34.6 per cent) of total population 29,362,095 (2018) are under high risk of lead exposure in Nepal.

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