Ministry seeks to phase out use of lead-based paint
by Hana Namrouqa | Sep 17, 2013

AMMAN — The manufacture and sale of lead paint in the Kingdom will be banned before the end of this year due to its negative impact on public health and the environment, according to Environment Minister Taher Shakhshir.

The Environment Ministry seeks to phase out the use of lead-based paint in Jordan by the end of this year, particularly in schools, Shakhshir said in a press statement.

“The government, in cooperation with the private sector and international agencies, is gradually banning the use and import of lead paint to safeguard people’s health,” he added.

Once the country becomes free of lead-based paint, the concerned authorities will carry out a comprehensive survey of all schools to determine whether their walls have been painted with lead paint.

“All schools that contain lead paint will be rehabilitated,” the minister said.

Lead is a toxic metal, the widespread use of which has caused extensive environmental contamination and health problems in many parts of the world. It is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems, including the neurologic, hematologic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and renal systems, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, and even relatively low levels of exposure can cause serious and, in some cases, irreversible neurological damage, WHO said on its website.

Environment Ministry Spokesperson Isa Shboul on Tuesday said that the Kingdom shifted from leaded to unleaded fuel in early 2008 to eliminate health risks posed by lead, noting that banning lead paint is the next step.