Lead in Albania – at a glance!
Since its establishment, EDEN Center have campaigned for meaningful policies to ensure the adequate management of POPs in Albania, prioritizing the protection of communities that are located nearby hotpots and former chemical plants inherited from the communist era.
As part of the long-standing efforts with POPs in Albania, one of EDEN’s flagship campaigns is about the chemical element of Lead. Supported by the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), every year EDEN centre sheds light on the impact of Lead on the environment and health.
WHAT IS LEAD – at a glance?
Lead can be found in all parts of our environment – the air, the soil, the water, and even inside our homes. Much of our exposure comes from human activities including the use of fossil fuels including the past use of leaded gasoline, some types of industrial facilities and the past use of lead-based paint in homes. Lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products found in and around our homes, including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, soldiers, gasoline, batteries, ammunition and cosmetics.
Lead may enter the environment from these past and current uses. Lead can also be emitted into the environment from industrial sources and contaminated sites, such as former lead smelters.
MEASURES TO CONTROL LEAD LIMITS IN ALBANIA, DO WE HAVE SUCH MEASURES?
Throughout different campaigns undertaken by EDEN Center in Albania for Lead, there is a repetitive concern linked with the awareness and information that the general public possess regarding the side effects of Lead on the environment and health. EDEN Center strives to elevate the understanding of the general public regarding Lead effects through its educational campaigns. Lead causes invisible pollution and it is difficult to perceive the scale of its damage and effects on the environment and health. Therefore, long-term and purposeful educational campaigns for this issue play a critical role to fill this gap.
Albania has approved regulations on lead exposure limits. Due to the complex institutional chain dealing with the Lead elements, it is difficult to assess the implementation of these regulations. In addition, the inspection or detection is difficult due to the limited state capacities of the institutions.
Key decisions and articles in Albania's national laws related to Lead element are below-listed:
- Limits set for the capacities of industries that produce or process heavy metals, including leads. To operate such a business, an environmental assessment and license that set the daily limits that a facility can process should be applied, according to the law. [i]
- Albania has ratified and incorporated different articles, conventions, protocols, and recommendations of the International Labor Organisation[ii] into its national laws, including the one that set limitations for lead elements in working environments. To ensure a safe working environment. There are as well specific regulations in place for vulnerable labourers to POPs and specifically to Lead, such as pregnant women. Such regulation provides protection for such vulnerable groups to Lead. [iii]
- An additional system of taxation is applied to fuel products based on the level of Lead in Albania.[iv] In meantime, UN and other international agreements urge for the ban of lead-based fuel.[v]
For further and in-depth information regarding the chemical element of lead and its impact on health and the environment, navigate to EDEN’s web page to read materials and press releases published in the frame of Lead campaigns undertaken throughout the years.
This article is published as part of the campaign of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2022, with the support of IPEN.
[i] Ligj nr. 52/2020 për disa ndryshime në ligjin nr. 10 448, datë 14.7.2011, “Për lejet e mjedisit”, të ndryshuar.
[iii] VKM, nr 634,date 15.7.2015
[iv] Ligj nr. 142/2014 për disa ndryshime në ligjin nr. 61/2012 “Për akcizat në republikën e Shqipërisë”, të ndryshuar
[v] UNEP press-release: Era of leaded petrol over, eliminating a major threat to human and planetary health, August 2021