Despite what is known about the health risks arising from lead paint, such paints are still widely available and used in many countries for decorating the interiors and exteriors of homes. It can also be found in paint in public buildings such as schools and hospitals, as well as on toys, toy jewellery, glazes, furniture, and playground equipment.
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.
The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint is a voluntary collaborative initiative to focus and catalyze the efforts of a diverse range of stakeholders to achieve international goals to prevent children's exposure to lead from paint and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint. The Global Alliance is a joint undertaking of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
The Global Alliance is focusing initially on efforts to eliminate exposures to the most vulnerable populations and will focus on eight principal actions to address the gaps identified in the GAELP business plan strategy. These principal GAELP business plan actions establish the foundation for achieving the goals and objectives of the Global Alliance.
Priority actions for 2012-2013, drawn from the GAELP focal area workplans include the developing of a proposal and obtaining broad support among Governments, clinical and public health professionals and other stakeholders for the marking of an international day of action on prevention of lead poisoning with an initial focus on eliminating lead paint (relevant to focal areas on health aspects and on environmental aspects);
The International Week of Action on Prevention of Lead Poisoning (October 20-26th 2013) is aimed at addressing the lack of awareness of this issue. During the campaign week, the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint aims, among others actions, to:
Raise awareness about lead poisoning:
- Highlight countries and partners' efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning; and
- Urge further action to eliminate lead paint.
Further useful linkages about the International Week of Action on Prevention of Lead Poisoning:
Visit GAELP Publications page for more information on Lead Paint Poisoning and the work of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint