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G7 expert meeting sets out actions on lead pollution

ILA’s Dr Steve Binks joined a G7 working group lead (Pb) expert meeting in Washington DC in November organised by the USA, Germany, the European Union to discuss concrete actions designed to help reduce the impact of lead pollution in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). It was well attended with a total of 89 participants (19 in person and 70 online) from G7 Member government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia, industry, foundations, the World Bank, and international organizations.

This followed a G7 Communique published in 2022 that encouraged development of domestic regulation of lead sources and acknowledged the potential role of G7 countries in reducing lead exposure in developing countries.

The output of expert meeting will be a “visioning document “ that will highlight activities agreed by the group include strengthening the links between environment, health and development officials of G7 nations and LMICs to promote more effective coordinated action and improving awareness of cost-effective solutions to reduce lead exposure in LMICs.

Potential actions identified by the group during the meeting included “Identifying and exploring ways to involve producers, industry and trade associations of G7 Members and others to exercise product stewardship and sustainable and responsible supply chain management for their products and relevant lead-contaminated articles, including through extended producer responsibility schemes”.  This is aligned with key deliverables of the Leadbattery 360 programme and its guiding principles

Dr Steve Binks said: “The G7 expert group was convened to identify tangible actions that can be taken by G7 members to tackle lead pollution in LMICs. Although this is a complex issue that will take time to address, it is encouraging that G7 counties acknowledged that they have a role to play. I hope that the opportunities for future concrete actions developed by the expert group can soon be translated into on-the ground activities that help resolve this major public health concern .” 

The results of the November 2023 meeting will be provided to G7 ministers.

Caption: ILA’s Dr Steve Binks joined the G7 working group meeting in the United States.