Stakeholders seek regulation for lead battery recycling
Stakeholders have solicited increased efforts for the phase-out of the manufacture, sale and use of lead containing paints.
Warning that the exposures to lead can affect all humans especially children, they called for a working policy framework to ensure the regulation of lead battery recycling.
The stakeholders spoke recently in Lagos at a one-day workshop on lead in paint and the environment organized by the Hazardous Materials Management Department of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) in conjunction with Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev).
Executive Director, SRADev Nigeria, Mr. Leslie Adogame, said lead exposures had health implications, which include gastrointestinal effects, anaemia, hypertension, hearing loss as well as affecting the nervous and the reproductive system.
The environmentalist disclosed that recycling lead from used batteries is characterized by high lead exposures that can cause severe health problems and contaminate the environment unless adequate equipment is used and procedures to minimize emissions are followed.
He also called for urgency to mitigate the situation as the health of several children can be permanently and irreversibly damaged at the least exposures to lead.
The General Manager, LASEPA, Antonio Ayodele said it was quite painful that the country was yet to stop paint manufacturing with lead despite its huge human and environmental risks.
He lamented that most Nigerians who are involved in the activity mining of lead were only concerned about the economic and monetary gains and not its health consequences, warning that if nothing quick is done to remedy the situation millions of Nigerians could die, economy will suffer and the environment becomes unsafe and unprotected.
Ayodele called for increased awareness, enlightenment and campaign against dire consequences of lead exposure as well as support for all stakeholders to guarantee a safe and friendly environment where all could live.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMA), Mr Jude Maduka advised regulators to ensure standards in the production of raw materials and monitor the killer chemical.
According to him, No one buys lead and adds it to his paints, it all comes from the raw materials which are all imported, unfortunately by same people clamoring for its ban on lead in paint.
“It’s a gradual process, the full implementation of the ban policy will commence in 2020, so we are working towards that and quickly adapting to alternatives, we have to be very careful to avoid the loss of millions of jobs.
“Also it is worthy to note that the lead free paints are quite very expensive and the government are not helping matters at all, they should at least provide business friendly environments and basic amenities that could male work easier and cheaper”, he added.
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