Environment

Paint industry heads to discuss reducing amount of toxic lead in formulations

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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Local and regional representatives of the paint industry, as well as supporting stakeholders and partners, will meet to discuss possible regulations and standards for lead in paint at the Caribbean Seminar on the Development of National and Regional Regulations and Standards on Lead in Paint scheduled for the Norman Manley Law School this Friday, December 1.

Lead exposure is toxic to humans and presents significant risk of lead poisoning, especially in young children. Sceintific evidence shows, too, that lead in piant can cause lifelong impacts, including learning disabilities and behavioural and mental disorders.

Friday's seminar is one of several initiatives of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint following a request by Caricom at a side event at the second UN Environment Assembly in 2016. The assembly was convened to learn more about global trends regarding legal limits of and issues relating to the matter of lead in paint.

“The seminar is of importance to Jamaica and the Caribbean as it presents an opportunity for them to continue efforts to implement regulations and standards for the sound management of chemicals and waste,” says Vincent Sweeney, head of the UN Environment Caribbean Sub-Regional Office.

“Lead in paint regulations will help reduce significant risks to human health and environment, while protecting our children's future and economic productivity of countries in the region,” he added.

The seminar, held in conjunction with Norman Manley Law School and the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint — which is co-led by UN Environment and World Health Organization, and chaired by the United States Environmental Protection Agency — seeks to present options for the elimination of lead paint through the enactment of national and regional standards and regulations which will limit lead in paint to 90 parts per million (ppm).

Prior to the seminar, government ministries and agencies in Jamaica, in collaboration with international environmental and legal experts, will discuss possible outcomes for Jamaica in adopting recommended lead paint standards.

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