The Department of Chemistry publishes Policy Briefs once research is undertaken in areas that affect community life and the public. These briefs are shared with related county governments and the National government. Below is the recently published policy brief;
1.) National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action
Key Facts in Brief
a.) Several studies have indicated that the metal lead and its compounds are widely used in
the manufacturing processes due to their useful properties. For example, in paint
manufacturing, lead compounds are responsible for the type and quality of colour in
decorative paints, enhances drying properties in oil based paints and its application on
metal surfaces to prevent corrosion It is however one of the elements that is a
cumulative and persistent toxicant with no known biological function. It affects
practically every system within the human body, and has devastating consequences for
the health and intellectual wellbeing of the world’s children. Much of the exposure to
lead is as a result of human activities that involve recycling and manufacturing of lead
acid batteries, manufacturing and use of lead based paints, use of leaded plumbing
system as well as burning of materials containing lead. The processing, handling, use and
disposal of lead containing materials may result in environmental contamination and
b.) Lead in paint was further identified as one of the major emerging policy issues during
the 2nd International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) in 2009.
c.) The ICCM launched the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint (GAELP) under the
auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Environment in order to
protect human health and the environment.
d.) The goal of GAELP or lead alliance partners is to focus and catalyze the efforts of
diverse stakeholders to prevent children’s exposure and minimize occupational exposure
to lead in paint.
e.) The overall objective is to establish legal limits and phase out lead in paint by the year
2020, and eventually eliminates the associated risks.
f.) The undertaking is comparable to previous concerted international commitment that
encouraged national regulatory actions to eliminate leaded petrol.
Kenya is one of the eleven Members of the Lead Paint Alliance Advisory Council under
the representation of Dr. Faridah Hussein Were. The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) of USA serves as the Chair of the Council to facilitate the overall cohesions and
coordination of related activities.
Key Recommendations in Brief
a.) The national standard should be implemented and enforced to ensure consumers get and
use lead free paint
b.) Awareness creation programmes across the diverse stakeholders along paint
manufacturing value chain including suppliers of raw materials about the developed
national standard and adverse health effects of lead in a paints is paramount
c.) Suppliers should provide lead free raw materials and consumer awareness is critical.
d.) The consumer awareness is simply the understanding by individual of their rights as a
consumer concerning available safe paint products being marketed and sold. There is
therefore a need to develop consumer protection policies to safe guard against
counterfeit to hold manufacturers responsible for quality
e.) Inspection and surveillance is necessary to monitor and enforce the lead in paint standard
f.) Comprehensive research and capacity building should be carried out to ensure that
manufacturers are not using leaded materials.