ZAMBIA must enact a law that will prohibit the manufacturing as well as selling and using of paints which contain hazardous substances such as lead to safeguard the lives of children and future generations, Children’s Environmental Health Foundation (CEHF) national lead elimination advisor Michael Musenga has said.
In many countries in the developing world including Zambia, paint that contain high levels of lead is still being sold for decorating houses as well as schools and children’s toys.
Mr Musenga said paint that contains lead additives posed a risk of lead poisoning especially to children aged six years and above and hence the country needed to come up with a piece of legislation to ban such paint.
He said in Livingstone yesterday that childhood lead poisoning could have long life health impacts including learning disabilities, anaemia and disorder in coordinating visual as well as speech and language skills.
Mr Musenga said it was necessary for Zambia to limit or ban the use of lead in paint as the exposure to lead had an impact on public health especially brain damage to children.
“The study conducted by the University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Medicine also revealed that paint manufactured in Zambia contain excessive lead thereby creating a risk to public health.
“Therefore working together with the Government and manufacturers in banning lead in paint will achieve toxic free future by the year 2020. We need to act together to protect the present and future generation,” Mr Musenga said.
From October 23, 2016 to October 29, 2016, Zambia will be hosting the fourth International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPWA).
During this period, CEHF will conduct a number of activities in Livingstone and other parts of the country to foster commitment to act to eliminate lead paint in Zambia.