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African nations to phase out lead in paint by 2020

December 16, 2015

African nations to phase out lead in paint by 2020

[ADDIS ABABA] African countries have agreed to cooperate in setting limits for use of lead in paints with a view to phasing it out by 2020.

This is because of its dangers to human beings, especially to children, and the environment.

In a workshop jointly organised by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Persistent Organic Pollutants Elimination Network early this month in Ethiopia (2-4 December), speakers observed that paints containing lead additives pose major risks to human health, and that manufacturers need to stop their use.

“Lead is an environmental toxicant and needs to be eliminated from paints as has been done with motor vehicle fuel,” said Eisaku Toda, a senior programme officer of UNEP, adding that governments in African countries should introduce standards and restrictions on its use.

He said that the WHO lists lead among the top ten environmental health hazards globally, and African countries should take initiatives such as introducing regulatory frameworks to control its use with a view to eventually eliminating it from paints.

Read more at Sci Dev Net.

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