The Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev Nigeria) a professional non-profit think tank in environmental health research and development has raised the alarm over high level lead battery pollution in the country, saying some factories in Lagos and Ogun States are significant sources of lead pollution.
The Executive Director of SRADev Nigeria, Leslie Adogame who disclosed this to journalists on Monday in Lagos said an international study had found extensive lead contamination around lead battery recycling plants in Nigeria and six additional African countries.
According to him, the contamination levels in soil ranged up to 14 per cent lead with average concentrations of 2 per cent lead.
Adogame said, “In Nigeria, SRADev Nigeria collected and analysed a total of 21 soil samples from lead battery recycling factory sites in Lagos and Ogun states.
“Samples were tested in EMSL Analytical, Inc, USA. Lead levels around lead battery recycling plants in Nigeria ranged up to 29,000parts per million (ppm) outside the facilities tested and 140,000ppm inside the facility tested. Fifteen (71 per cent) of the samples were greater than 400 ppm or the USEPA limit for soil. Levels below 80 ppm are considered safe for children.
“There are no industry specific regulations controlling the release of lead from these recycling plants or to protect workers and children in surrounding communities.”
He added that, “Lead battery manufacturing and recycling are extremely hazardous industries and companies should be required to publicly disclose their air emissions on an annual basis.”
The Programme Officer of SRADev Nigeria, Victor Fabunmi noted that, “One of the facilities tested in Ota (Ogun state) is located within approximately 20 meters of a residential district with about 200inhabitants.
“At another facility in Ogijo, Ogun state, waste water run-off from the factory is used to irrigate surrounding farmlands.”
As a way out , the Executive Director of Occupational Knowledge International, USA and the lead author of the study, Perry Gottesfeld said, “There is an immediate need to limit lead emissions from this industry and to test children’s exposure levels in nearby communities.”
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