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ISLC Report #11 How does UNEP handle a disposal of inappropriate Lead Acid Battery?

2019.09.24 10:18

photoIn this Report 11, we would like to introduce a person from UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) for the first time. Her name is Dr. Desiree Montecillo-Narvaez. She holds her Bachelors, Medical degree and Masters from the Philippine University and works as a programme officer in the chemical and health department at the UNEP. She is currently in charge of all UNEP programmes regarding “lead” from all sources. In the past, she was involved in a co-project of the WHO WPRO (Western Pacific Regional Office) and the UNEP ROAP (Regional Office for Asia and Pacific) concerning the environment and health.

 

 

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Lead acid battery markets, which account for more than 80 % of the global lead demand, are rapidly expanding in developing countries. Nonetheless, in these countries, the inappropriate recycling of ULAB (Used Lead Acid Battery) causes major problems to sustainability and the possibility of exposing people to potential health risk.

 

In connection with this matter, at the 3rd UNEA (United Nations Environment Assembly) in December 2017, a resolution that “Controlling ULAB for an eco-friendly world is promoted” was adopted.

 

This resolution also wants UNEP, under close cooperation with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, to support developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their effort to strengthen their ESM (Environmental Strategies & Management) of ULAB.

 

Therefore, the chemical and health department at the UNEP offers a co-project in which the ability or capability of developing countries will be raised, so they can control ULAB in line with best practice. These measures contribute to an update of training data of the Basel Convention and its test.

 

Furthermore, this project supports the development of materials, which promotes our understanding of some health risks peculiar to unofficial lead recycling, especially the negative effects on children and childbearing-aged females’ bodies.

 

 

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Dr. Montecillo-Narvaez said that UNEP Geneva (headquarters) and its branch UNEP Indonesia were both paying attention to the control of lead and mercury, and the observation has also started in Bangladesh. UNEP also follows insecticides and radioactivity.

 

 

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According to Dr. Montecillo-Narvaez, in the areas where inappropriate recycling is occuring or there is no appropriate control of lead emission, lead is being detected on floors of general households. This means that the whole city is contaminated. In order to remove lead from the contaminated soil, we have to wash and clean out the soil first. In short, she said that rooting out the origin of the informal sector of ULAB disposal was the only solution. The UN is also researching the contamination of roads. Innovation is important factor in disposing of broad area soil contamination. 

 

 

(Original Japanese article is by IRUNIVERSE YT&YO, Translation by Ayako Crnokrak)

 

 

 

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