Sanad to highlight dangers of lead poisoning from toys

Reem Hegelan, general manager of Sanad (seated right) and UNICOIL President Raeed Alajaji at the signing ceremony in Jubail last week.
Updated 23 October 2016
0

Sanad to highlight dangers of lead poisoning from toys

RIYADH: An awareness campaign on the hazards of lead poisoning from children’s toys is to be launched by Sanad, the Children’s Cancer Support Association.
The association signed a cooperation agreement with the Universal Metal Coating Company Limited (UNICOIL) to launch a coordinated awareness campaign warning against the hazards of lead, by circulating specific guidelines and instructions based on studies approved by international organizations.
"As part of its social responsibility efforts, Universal Metal Coating Company Limited (UNICOIL) continues its ongoing social awareness campaigns, which began nearly four years ago to warn the public against the hazards of lead in paints and coated metal products, as well as about lead poisoning, which causes many chronic diseases suffered by children under six years of age,” an official from the organization said Sunday.
The ongoing cooperation between UNICOIL and Sanad stems from their belief in the importance of serving the public through education and awareness against this imminent danger.
Lead is poisonous and can severely harm human health when present in concentrations exceeding safe limits, especially when used in media, which can come into direct or indirect contact with humans through air, water and soil. Examples include children's toys, cosmetic materials, residential paints, galvanized steel sheets used in the fabrication of potable water tanks and pipes, air conditioning, A/C ducting, as well as other uses, all of which can transmit lead poisoning to humans.
Studies conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), says that inorganic lead compounds are probably carcinogenic to human.
The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health have been regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO. Heavy metals have been used by humans for thousands of years. Although several adverse health effects of heavy metals have been known for a long time, exposure to heavy metals continues and is even increasing in some parts of the world, in particular in less developed countries even though emissions have declined in most developed countries over the last 100 years.


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 22 September 2019

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject