June 16, 2024

The Eye Of Africa

“Pure Earth” releases mind blowing results on health from contamination after a study conducted

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Pure Earth, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving lives and protecting the planet by reducing disease-causing pollution in low- and middle-income countries has released a research made in recent times on health and contamination.

Below is their press detailing their findings.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

LEAD CONTAMINATION STUDY REVEALS GLOBAL HEALTH CRISIS

 

Pure Earth’s RMS Study & World Bank research published in The Lancet Planetary Health

Pure Earth, Blacksmith Initiative has released groundbreaking findings from its Rapid Market Screening (RMS) study on lead contamination. This study, the largest of its kind, highlights alarming levels of lead in consumer goods and food produced in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including Ghana, with far-reaching global consequences.

 

Key Findings of Rapid Market Screening (RMS) study in Ghana and Globally: The Rapid Market Screening (RMS) program is a project of Pure Earth with support from GiveWell to gain insights into the consumer products and foods that contribute to lead poisoning in low- and middle- income countries. Between 2021 to 2023, researchers analysed lead concentrations in thousands of products and foods from markets across 25 countries, including Ghana.



The RMS study in Ghana analyzed over 193 consumer products and food samples across four regions, uncovering high rates of lead contamination. The findings below show the lead concentration in the following samples: 

Metal foodware (Dadesen) (55%), Ceramic food ware (18%), Toys (14%), Cosmetics (7%). 10% of samples contained lead levels above the threshold level.

Global Findings – Pure Earth, global Rapid Market Screening (RMS) study of sources of lead contamination in more than 5,000 samples of consumer goods and food products across 25 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The most comprehensive global survey of lead contamination ever conducted, the RMS found high prevalence rates of lead exceeding reference levels, based on public health guidelines or regulatory standards, in metal foodware (52%), ceramic foodware (45%), various types of paint (11% to 48%), toys (13%), and cosmetics (12%).



The findings support World Bank data published today in The Lancet Planetary Health indicating serious health risks from lead exposure.

 

Published on September 12, 2023, The World Bank Lancet Planetary Health paper showed the level of harm due to lead exposure is greater than previously thought. Specifically, based on data from 2019, the report showed:

  • Children under five years old worldwide lost 765 million IQ points. Those living in LMICs lost 729 million IQ points, an average loss of 5.9 IQ points per child. This IQ point loss is 80% greater than previously estimated.

    P.O. Box OS3557, Osu, Accra, Physical Address: 200 Mkogh St, Teacher Oyoo Cr, Papao – West Legon, Accra- Ghana.

 Telephone: +233 (0) 302791569: Email: teamghana@pureearth.org / www.pureearth.org

 

  • 5.5 million adults died from cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to lead exposure; this is six times greater than the 2019 estimate by the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD). previous estimates included CVD deaths only from lead-mediated high blood pressure o The new mortality calculation is based on the lead’s estimated effects on CVD deaths caused by factors other than high blood pressure, e.g., damage to the heart and arteries due to atherosclerosis and increased incidence of stroke.

 

  • About 90% of CVD deaths and 95% of IQ point loss due to lead exposure were in LMICs.
  • The global financial cost of lead exposure was US$6 trillion, equivalent to 7% of global GDP. In LMICs, these costs accounted for more than 10% of GDP, or twice as high as in High Income Countries (HICs).
  • More than three-fourths of the economic cost (77%) was due to CVD deaths and associated income loss from premature mortality; nearly one-fourth of the economic cost (23%) was due to estimates of lower future income caused by IQ loss.

 

Action Plan:

 

A seven-point action plan is detailed in the report beginning with recommendations to expand blood lead level surveillance and home-based source assessments, then detailing strategies to get lead out of consumer products that are commonly contaminated. To solve this widespread exposure, Pure Earth recommends going to the source, tracking contaminated products to their production facilities, and then working with governments and producers to eliminate lead use.

 

In conclusion, the Pure Earth study and the World Bank report underscore the pervasive and severe impact of lead contamination on global public health. Urgent action is needed to eliminate lead from consumer products, protect vulnerable populations, and mitigate the economic burden of this crisis.

 

About Pure Earth, Blacksmith Initiative

Pure Earth is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving lives and protecting the planet by reducing disease-causing pollution in low- and middle-income countries. Pure Earth prioritizes actions that protect the developing brains and bodies of children and pregnant women with a specific emphasis on lead and mercury exposure. Partnering with governments, communities, and industry leaders, Pure Earth aims to elevate pollution as a global priority, create sustainable change, and support a healthier future.

 

SIGNED

 

Nana Agyei Sikapa Ofosu Manu Communications & media relations

 

Email: nana@pureearth.org {0558182560}

A full copy of the Pure Earth RMS report

Esmond Wisdom Quansah Country Director

The Lancet Planetary Health report can be accessed here.

 

   P.O. Box OS3557, Osu, Accra, Physical Address: 200 Mkogh St, Teacher Oyoo Cr, Papao – West Legon, Accra- Ghana.

 Telephone: +233 (0) 302791569: Email: teamghana@pureearth.org / www.pureearth.org

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