During 2008, UNEP conducted a study on the possible effects on human health and the environment in Africa of the trade of products containing lead, cadmium, which was noted by the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum at its 25th session in February 2009.
This study, which was possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Government of Sweden, fills some of the data and information gaps identified in the draft reviews of scientific information on lead and cadmium and for mercury information gaps identified elsewhere. In particular, it addresses the global flow of lead, cadmium and mercury in products by analyzing the trade, use and disposal of products containing lead, cadmium and mercury in Africa in order to assess how this trade can lead to adverse human and environmental effects.
A range of products were assessed to identify products forming the main hazards to health and environment. The study collected, compiled and analysed data on trade of products to Africa based on available databases and sources. The study also includes case studies describing concrete examples of how some products containing lead, cadmium and mercury can have adverse effects on the human health and the environment in Africa, as well as examples of sound management of products containing these toxic metals.
The results of the study were presented on the morning of the 9th February 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland within the framework of the Informal Workshop on Stakeholders’ Information Needs on Chemicals in Articles/Products, which was also possible thanks to the generous financial contributions of the Nordic Council of Ministers.