LAHORE: In an effort to address the alarming issue of lead poisoning among children in Pakistan, the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and the Lead Exposure Elimination Project (LEEP) have joined forces. Together, they aim to eliminate hazardous lead from paints, which has been identified as a major contributor to lead poisoning in the country. Recent estimates suggest that approximately 47 million children in Pakistan are affected by lead poisoning.
Highlighting their commitment to this cause, the PSQCA, in collaboration with LEEP, organized a workshop titled “Reducing Lead in Paints-Proposal for Paint Manufacturers.” The event took place at a local hotel on Wednesday and brought together key stakeholders in the paint industry.
The workshop featured prominent figures such as PSQCA Director General Zain Ul Abedin, who graced the occasion as the chief guest.
Charlie Loudon, LEEP’s Project Manager, shed light on LEEP’s engagements in Pakistan, emphasizing their dedication to eliminating lead exposure. Furthermore, Khuwaja Ghulam Mohiuddin, the In-charge of the Chemical Division at PSQCA, highlighted the ongoing standardization activities related to paints, while Engr. Nouman Khaliq briefed the participants about the enforcement and certification mechanisms implemented by PSQCA.
During the workshop, a study conducted by the Agha Khan University and LEEP revealed that a staggering 40 percent of oil-based paints in Pakistan contain dangerous levels of lead. This alarming finding underscores the urgent need for action to protect public health. To combat this issue, efforts to raise consumer awareness have been intensified, and a global movement is advocating for the complete elimination of lead in paints.
Addressing the concluding ceremony, Director General Zain Ul Abedin reaffirmed PSQCA’s commitment to ensuring the safety of human beings, plants, animals, and the environment through enforcement measures on industrial products and imports across the country. He emphasized that PSQCA is readily available to provide technical advisory support to the industry, assisting them in aligning their products with international standards to access global markets.
Expressing his gratitude to the workshop participants, Abedin acknowledged the value of the event in providing crucial guidance to the industry in the production of lead-free paints. He emphasized the need for continued efforts, suggesting the organization of training workshops to further support the industry in this crucial endeavor.
“The collaborative efforts between PSQCA and LEEP mark a significant step forward in safeguarding the health and well-being of millions of children in Pakistan. By eliminating hazardous lead from paints, the partnership aims to protect future generations from the detrimental effects of lead poisoning, ensuring a safer and healthier environment for all,” he concluded.