(Göteborg, Sweden) The Minamata Convention, the world’s first legally binding global agreement to reduce mercury pollution, becomes International law on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017. Environmental health leaders from IPEN (a global network of NGOs in over 100 countries combatting toxic pollutants) celebrate the historical global health and environmental treaty and call on world governments to take the next steps to ensure “no more Minamatas.”
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) A new study on the lead content of solvent-based paints for home use in Ethiopia released today by the Pesticide Action Nexus Association (PAN-Ethiopia) and IPEN shows that more than 80 percent of the analyzed paint brands sold have one or more paint that contained dangerously high total lead content greater than 10,000 parts per million (ppm). This is the third study on lead content in Ethiopian household decorative paints since 2012. Two orange paints contained 100,000 ppm lead or 10 percent of the paint’s content, more than 1,100 times the allowed threshold limit of 0.009 percent (90 ppm) established in many countries for lead in paint. This is also the maximum threshold limit from which the draft standard by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFC) is based on, expected to be ratified this year.
The European Commission is facing a second court challenge for allowing a Canadian company to sell two dangerous chemicals used for road markings and painting industrial machines in the EU. Environmental lawyers ClientEarth, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) and International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) are taking the European Commission to court after it refused to withdraw an EU-wide permit allowing the use of lead chromate pigments.
To date, the European Chemical Agency has received 380 notifications of companies declaring the use of lead chromate pigments in the EU since this authorisation. This is hindering the use of safer alternatives EU companies have invested in. Many companies have also already declared their intention to export these hazardous products to poorly regulated markets outside the EU.
IPEN, jointly with the European Environmental Bureau, has contributed to the stakeholder consultation of the European Commission’s work on the analysis of the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation and identification of policy options.
In order to protect people and the environment from the risks posed by hazardous chemicals and in order to safeguard material loops in a circular economy without compromising chemical safety aspects, IPEN and EEB demand legally binding requirements for full transparency on the chemical contents in all constituent components of products together with requirements for information sharing between all stakeholders in supply chains.
This report (anglais et français), conducted by Centre de Recherche et d’Education pour le Développement (CREPD) in partnership with IPEN, presents new data on the total lead content of solvent-based paints for home use available on the market in Cameroon. It also presents background information on why the use of lead paint is a source of serious concern, especially to children’s health; a review of national policy frameworks that are in place to ban or restrict the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale and use of lead paint, and provides a strong justification to adopt and enforce further regulatory controls in Cameroon. Finally, it proposes action steps by different stakeholders to protect children and others from lead paint.