It is 20 years since the global campaign against lead on gasoline and today a similar mission has been hatched targeting to abolish lead additives in paints and varnishes.
The battle of ‘No lead on paints,’ ensues at the corridors of the University of Nairobi in Kenya, by one of the institution lecturers in the department of Chemistry.
She is Dr Faridah Hussein Were who sits at the advisory council of Lead paint Alliance in Kenya and also chairperson of technical committee at the Kenya Bureau of Standards, on developing benchmarks for paints in Kenya.
Together with different stakeholders the lecturer led a peace walk to commemorate 10th International Lead Poison Week by also acknowledging heroes and heroines, 8 organizations, 2 individuals, societies and institutions who have actively participated on the global phase out of Lead paints for a decade.
The bold move comes at a time when policies and Laws are now in place in order to enhance the fact that Kenya and the East Africa region is at the verge of ensuring 100 percent eradication of lead paints.
This is according to the recent Kenya gazette that states the standards limit on the total lead content in paints, varnishes and related products to 90 parts per million (ppm), a limit recommended by the United Nations Environment program and World Health Organization.
This law has been actualized in Kenya and more than 11 member states following studies conducted in 2017 that found more than 69percent of 51 analyzed solvents -based paints for home use contained lead levels greater than 90 ppm.
“Compliance and enforcement of legal limits will save the African Continent an estimated annual economic loss of 4.0 percent due to childhood lead exposure and loss of IQ. ” Dr. Farida Hussein Were
On the other hand, the Basco Paint General Manager Kenya Aseem Doshi confirms that the company has been the great pioneer of no lead on paints and also moved into water based paints and Silicon Paints that contain no lead for the longevity of the company.
“We have offered CSR projects to victims of lead poisoning especially children by partnering with research centers and medical facilities to enable the victims to go back to normalcy “GM Basco Paints Aseem Doshi.