By Nelson Manneh

Joe Bongay, Executive Director of Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE), said lead in paint, poses a significant and damaging health effect on humans, especially the young and most vulnerable ones of society; that due to the harmful effects of Lead, this affects brain formation and the nervous system at a tender age of their growth, and the health effects can generally have a lifelong impact on these children. Mr. Bongay made these and other statements in a press conference held at the YVE main office in Churchill’s town.

Speaking to the press, Bongay said Lead poisoning has emerged as a global concern in 2009, when the Second Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM2), approved a resolution on its effects and causes; that the determination mapped out and endorsed a global partnership to promote the phasing out of the use of Lead in paints.

“The World Health Organization ranks Lead as one of the top ten environmental health threats globally. Lead paint exposure causes different mental and physical impairments such as reduced IQ, learning infirmities, hypertension, seizures, muscle weakness and growth delays,” he said.

The executive director YVE added that eradicating Lead paint will meaningfully reduce the dangers of Lead exposure particularly to the most vulnerable, and thus reduce the risk of human health due to Lead in The Gambia. Despite the hazardous effects of lead poisoning, Mr. Bongay said only 36 percent of countries have legally banned the use of Lead paint according to the 2016 UNEP gathering; that this suggests that improvement needs to be done in order to achieve the target on time. “We are working with other partners to ensure that the issue of Lead paint, becomes a thing of the past. It is targeted globally that by 2020, all countries will adopt Lead control measures,” he said.

The goal of IPEN’s Global Lead Paint Elimination Project according to Mr. Bongay, is to end the manufacture, sale and use of Lead paint in countries with a priority focus on decorative paints and other coats likely to cause Lead exposure in children.

Ejatou Jaiteh, the Communications Officer YVE, said they have gone through several tests on Lead paints to know the numerous effects it causes to society.

“As far as the environment is concerned, our priority is to make sure that society is free from harmful substances,” she said.

Jaiteh said they have already conducted tests and will make sure that the results reach every individual.

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