Lead exposure in developing countries

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Continued exposure to lead particles will inherently end up causing a bunch of health issues that you can easily learn more about by visiting a site like Check4Lead, the CDC or the Mayo Clinic that all have great articles on the topic, yet exposure to this dangerous heavy metal is significantly more prevalent in developing countries.

Are the various countries doing anything about it? The answer to that question is a resounding yes, but whether or not they are in fact doing enough, that’s an entirely different question.

Lead exposure in developing countries - Brand Spur

The reality of the matter is that more than 90% of children in a province in South Africa tested having more than the limit set in the US, and although the article was published a long time ago, it was still at a point in time where residential lead paint had been banned for roughly 18 years in the United States.

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Unfortunately, developing countries are still taking the various initiatives required in order to limit lead exposure, but the reality is that they still have a very long way to go in order to get to the exposure levels of developed countries.

In fact, if you go back 3 years, the only countries to still have lead in their gasoline were Algeria, Iraq, Yemen, Myanmar, North Korea and Afghanistan. Although a couple of these countries have taken measures since then to transition away from this dangerous type of fuel, these are changes that are only happening over time, and the dangerous thing is that just because you enact a restriction on the exposure of such material, you still have millions of people living with the consequences of decades of exposure.

Yes, lead exposure will not just affect you right now, but it will, in fact, have devastating long-term effects, the worst ones including death, although cognitive impairment is really quite common too, to some extent.

It’s actually such a concern that important institutions, like the WHO have made their resources that talk about the issue in depth. The good news is that at least the information has been getting out there and that the dangers of extended exposure to the dangerous material are significant, shouldn’t be ignored and that they cause both detrimental health damages, as well as billions and billions of dollars worth of additional health care costs, that various industries would rather avoid talking about, instead of using some of the many different lead particle alternatives that can be added to things such as paint, gasoline and other things.

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Although the material has many uses, it’s not one that is used without side effects given its toxic nature, and it could easily mean that you have many products at home that you aren’t even realizing have the material in it.

The issue, in addition, is that many countries aren’t taking the necessary precautions to shield their youngest. Yes, kids are the ones that are most affected by lead exposure, with their still-developing brains. Hearing loss, learning difficulties and problems in school are just some of the things that arise from exposure to this heavy metal, and their long-term consequences are detrimental to countries’ economies, all due to companies’ current profits, that they don’t want to be sacrificing.

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The material wouldn’t have the popularity that it has if it wasn’t for the fact that it definitely has the potential to make things more durable, and on the surface make them seem higher quality, but all of these effects come at a price – lead exposure is massively stopping Africa and other developing places from reaching their full potential, why acting on it and ensuring the limiting of kids’ exposure to the material is important.

The reality is that the exposures are far more than most people realize, and while certain things may seem more obvious, the use of lead paint is very common in a range of different consumer products in the developing world, and when being used in kids’ toys, that is when it becomes especially dangerous, as kids will naturally explore the objects they are being introduced to in the world.

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Having legislated on the issue, it is very common to see toy recalls in the United States due to their lead content, why it is so imperative that developing countries join in taking strict actions to limit its use. However, it’s not just in kids toys’ that this type of paint is being used, although it is where it is arguably the most dangerous, continued exposure from other products will also cause harm to adults. Smelters, battery manufacturing, recycling plants, automotive shops are all places where the risk of exposure is significantly higher, in much higher concentrations than what the rest of the world permits, and if you are working in and around it all day, you also end up carrying it home in your clothes when you go home, which further increases the contamination risk for the risk of your family.

Changing manufacturing processes across the developing world will not be easy, as there are many businesses that have previously been relying on the various beneficial functions that the material does provide, but the reality is that there are many countries across the world that have successfully implemented vast measures to help lower the exposure, thereby significantly improving the overall health of their populations, and it’s about time that all countries that haven’t taken such a decisive stance on the matter to rise up and do so.

There is absolutely no reason why countries should willingly be allowing manufacturing practices that so obviously cause significant harm to their populations in the desire to maintain corporate interests, with experts estimating that the loss to the continental African economy suffers a US$134.7 loss every single year from the lead exposure that exists.

While many of the initiatives will need to be taken on a local and regional basis, it’s about time that measures are taken to figure out how to best prevent the loss stemming from a lack of action. The various initiatives will undoubtedly be the most effective if several African countries go together in addressing the issue, to avoid the problem simply being imported across country borders.

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Latest News

New entrant AECO Energy launches business innovation to deliver ‘last mile of value chain’ to Singapore’s maturing open electricity market

  • AECO Energy announces the launch of its operations in Singapore to provide innovation to the open electricity market for businesses with generation 2.0 of its technology and service offerings.
  • The company will introduce three solutions as part of its initial portfolio, customisable to specific business needs.

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 13 April 2021 - AECO Energy, a new entrant to Singapore's electricity sector, has today announced the launch of its operations. AECO Energy will be the first-of-its kind energy technology and services company aimed at innovating customer-centric offerings in electricity and renewable energy markets.

With over 12 years of experience in delivering open market electricity services and solutions to businesses in Australia under the Power Choice brand, AECO Energy is bringing its second generation of services and technology to Singapore for the first time. AECO's second generation delivers on two major offerings.

Firstly, AECO delivers the 'last mile' of value in Singapore Open Electricity Market (OEM) value chain by providing innovative services to assist businesses to manage, plan and make better buying decisions.

AECO is all about enabling increased profits for businesses. AECO has a customer-centric mission to use its low-cost proven technology and expert-led services to enable better business decisions within a complex electricity market with multiple providers and opaque medium- to long-term pricing information. This comes against the backdrop of Singapore's maturing OEM, which gives businesses and consumers the autonomy to buy and choose their electricity providers - the freedom to choose.

AECO Energy's technology platform, MarketPro™ with its unique, electricity futures market simulator Rate Watch™, delivers business and electricity efficiency and empowers businesses through relevant and timely pricing information, while also helping Singapore businesses make better buying decisions via automated tenders and reverse auctions. Moreover, for businesses who do not have the capability and capacity to manage and purchase its own electricity, AECO Energy Portfolio™ delivers scalable buying power with a fully-managed contract management and purchasing aggregation service for small, medium and large businesses.

Alan Jones, CEO, Chairman & Founder, AECO Energy, said: "We are incredibly excited and humbled to be joining Singapore's dynamic energy scene with our low-cost, high-value products and services. Our mission is clear: just like Amazon is revolutionising the 'last mile' of product supply chains with its same day delivery, we are also delivering the 'last mile' of the value chain in Singapore's OEM that enables more businesses better purchasing decisions, more business profitability and growing all of Singapore's economy."

Secondly, with SGX-listed entities, enterprises and multinational corporations (MNCs)' increasing emphasis on sustainability, AECO (through its SustainPro™ offering) will bring for the first-time in Singapore the benefit of AECO's direct relationship with generators of International Renewable Certificates (I-REC). This enables Southeast Asian markets the benefit of medium- to long-term low-cost and structured REC solutions to meet renewable energy targets and sustainability goals. This translates to more profits by providing more predictable costs for businesses in meeting their sustainability and renewable energy goals.

"As a specialised company, unburdened with corporate overheads and distractions from Singapore's local market participants, we can offer companies who are based anywhere in Southeast Asia, sustainability and renewable energy solutions that span markets and countries at a lower and more predictable price. We are honoured to play our part to bring sustainability and increased renewable energy throughout the world and to do so while benefiting our customers' cost structures," continued Mr. Jones.

AECO Energy is introducing three offerings as part of its electricity management solutions:

  • MarketPro™: Businesses can optimise costs and seize market opportunities with exclusive access to customised market price information through AECO Energy's integrated online procurement and management platform equipped with Rate Watch™, a market simulation and automated procurement technology from as low as SGD $149 per month.
  • Portfolio™: Businesses get exclusive access to economies of scale with better buying power through professional and expert-managed energy procurement portfolios overseen by AECO Energy experts. This allows enterprises to focus on their core business while AECO Energy experts will fully-manage their electricity contracts and make better buying decisions on their behalf from as low as an additional SGD $74 per month.
  • SustainPro™: SustainPro focuses on helping businesses meet their sustainability goals at the lowest cost. AECO Energy offers lower costs on the procurement of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and tailored REC supply solutions designed to meet transition needs towards a more sustainable business.

"With the understanding that business needs are unique for every organisation, our energy experts will work closely with customers here in Singapore to help them reduce costs, drive efficiency and make better buying decisions. By providing technology-enabled, insights-driven energy technology solutions, we want to create a profound impact on our customers' businesses to better position them for sustainable growth in the long-term," concluded Alan.

About AECO Energy:

Based in Singapore, the AECO Pacific Group owns and operates the Power Choice and AECO Energy brands. A leading pioneer for more than 12 years in electricity brokerage and consulting services in Asia Pacific focusing on deregulated electricity markets, AECO Pacific helps businesses with electricity procurement and management backed by market intelligence. Transforming and saving businesses more, AECO's combined experience in energy leadership and innovative technology solutions remain unmatched in dynamic and changing energy markets. For more information, visit https://powerchoice.com.au/ and https://aecoenergy.sg/.

Lead exposure in developing countries - Brand Spur
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