19 June 2019: A launch workshop for National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs) in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia convened as part of a project that aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) phase out lead in paint. The workshop focused on demonstration pilots with SME paint manufacturers, an element of the broader Lead in Paint Component of a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-supported project on ‘Global Best Practices on Emerging Chemical Policy Issues of Concern Under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).’
The project will work through NCPCs in the three countries, supporting SMEs to both phase out lead in paint, and during a paint reformulation industry pilot test, based on technical guidelines developed by NCPC Serbia.
The workshop met in Lima, Peru, from 18-19 June 2019. It assessed barriers and opportunities for regulatory action, and provided an overview of actions and available advice recommended by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint to support the establishment of lead paint laws in the three countries. Participants included government and industry representatives, mainly from SMEs.
Workshop sessions sought to: emphasize the importance of establishing mechanisms for joint work among relevant government institutions and stakeholders to generate effective regulatory instruments for eliminating lead paint; and raise awareness on the paint reformulation technical guidelines.
More specifically, speakers addressed, inter alia: the global economic, social and environmental context regarding lead in paint; the SAICM GEF project on ‘Lead Free Paints’; progress made on lead paint regulations in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; industrial sector perspectives; and Paint Reformulation Technical Guidelines, which were presented by Vojislavka Sartric, NCPC Serbia. Jordi Pon, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), presented on a ‘Road Map for Regulatory Actions and Elimination of Lead Paint in the Region.’
The workshop was organized by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNEP and SAICM.
An NCPC launching workshop to provide assistance to SMEs on phasing out lead in paint in Jordan convened from 31 March to 1 April in Amman, while another NCPC launch will take place in Beijing, China, from 16-17 October.
Regional workshops on eliminating lead in paint were also held under the project. The African regional workshop convened from 28-29 May, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) regional workshop met in Panama City, Panama, from 12-13 June; and the Asia-Pacific regional workshop convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21-22 August.
Eliminating lead in paint contributes to the achievement of, among others, SDG target 3.9 (reducing the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals, pollution and contamination) and SDG target 12.4 (achieving the environmentally sound management of chemicals and wastes and reducing their release to minimize adverse health and environmental impacts). [NCPC Launch Workshop for Ecuador, Peru and Colombia Presentations] [Workshop Agenda] [Lead in Paint Information on SAICM Website] [Information on Lead in Paint Component of SAICM/GEF Project] [Lead in Paint Component Briefing Note] [2018 Update on the Global Status of Legal Limits on Lead in Paint] [Lead Infographics]
To combat lead poisoning and use, the Lead in Paint Component of the SAICM/GEF Project promotes regulatory and voluntary action by government and industry to phase out lead in paint. It seeks to achieve this by working with: governments to support the development of lead paint regulations; and SMEs to promote phasing out use of lead additives. The project seeks to achieve lead paint regulation in at least 40 countries and phase out lead from production processes of approximately 50 SME paint manufacturers. The project was launched in January 2019 during an inception workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, and will run through 2021.
In addition, UNEP and WHO established the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint to prevent children’s exposure and minimize occupational exposure to lead paints. The Alliance aims to phase out the manufacture and sale of lead paints and eliminate their risks. Each year, it organizes the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Lead poisoning causes intellectual disabilities in approximately 600,000 children every year and can have lifelong health impacts. No known level of lead exposure is considered safe for adults or children.