Lead paint poisoning is still a major health threat for kids around the world and governments should ban it say WHO and UNEP
Author: UN Environment, Published on: 29 October 2018
"Lead exposure is poisoning the future of our children", 24 Octobre 2018
Years after lead in paint and petrol was banned in many parts of world, this toxic, heavy metal continues to pose a threat to people’s health as well as the environment – particularly in developing countries, where the major source of lead exposure to children is from paint. Lead poisoning has wide-ranging consequences. Childhood lead poisoning, including during pregnancy, can have lifelong health consequences including learning disabilities, anemia, disorders in visual and spatial coordination, and impaired language skills. It also poses a severe threat to adults in painting or building demolition professions...Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems. “There is no known safe level of lead exposure. Lead is a serious contributor to environmental pollution that accounts for a quarter of the global burden of disease...Lead can be found in decorative paint for interiors and exteriors of homes, schools, public and commercial buildings, as well as on toys, furniture and playgrounds...Children who live in low- and middle-income countries, where there are few or no governmental controls on lead in paint, are disproportionately affected...Last year, the network published a review of studies of paints sold in developing countries. The report found that a majority of decorative paints in 35 of the 55 countries included in the study contained high lead levels, and in 22 out of 55 countries, more than 25 per cent of decorative paints contained dangerously high lead levels...Lead paint laws are needed to reduce lead exposure globally...“Sadly, lead poisoning is still a major health threat for kids around the world, putting at risk the development of their full intellectual and physical capacities. As of today, only 69 countries have adopted lead paint laws...We call on each and every country to develop their laws by 2020,” says Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at the World Health Organization...the private sector must also take a leading role by offering non-toxic alternatives to lead paint. Indeed, many companies around the world are listening to consumers and bringing lead-free alternatives to the market.