International Programme on Chemical Safety

International lead poisoning prevention week of action

19-25 October 2014

Theme: Eliminate lead paint

The issue

Lead poisoning is entirely preventable, yet lead exposure is estimated to account for 0.6% of the global burden of disease, with the highest burden in developing regions. Childhood lead exposure is estimated to contribute to about 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year.

Even though there is wide recognition of this problem and many countries have taken action, exposure to lead, particularly in childhood, remains of key concern to health care providers and public health officials worldwide.

Paints containing high levels of lead are still widely available and used in many countries for decorative purposes, although good substitutes without lead are available. This is an opportunity to mobilize political and social commitment for further progress.

The objectives

During the campaign week, the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint aims to:

  • Raise awareness about lead poisoning;
  • Highlight countries and partners' efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning; and
  • Urge further action to eliminate lead paint.

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