(Banjul, The Gambia) More than 80 percent of the paint brands included in a study analyzing lead in solvent-based paints for home use in The Gambia sold one or more paint that contained dangerously high total lead content greater than 10,000 parts per million (ppm). The maximum allowed limit in e.g. Cameroon and Kenya is 90 ppm, which is also the recommended limit by UN Environment. Two yellow paints from the brands National and Oasis, both of which were imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), contained the highest amount of lead at 100,000 ppm. Furthermore, two paints from the brand Oasis, manufactured by Al Gurg Paints LLC in UAE and advertised as “100% lead free,” contained 100,000 ppm and 65,000 ppm lead. These and other alarming findings are part of a report released today by the Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE)-The Gambia and IPEN.
As the P2.5 billion “Green, Green, Green” program of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) goes in full swing, a non-profit environmental health organization urged the agency to ensure that funded projects only use paints with no added lead, a toxic chemical.