This week, October 21 – 27, 2018, is International Lead Poisoning Awareness Week. Lead poisoning is preventable, yet the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has estimated that, based on 2016 data, lead exposure accounted for 540 000 deaths and 13.9 million years lost to disability and death due to long-term health effects, with the highest burden in developing regions. Of particular concern is the role of lead exposure in the development of intellectual disability in children. An important source of domestic lead exposure, particularly in children, is paint containing high levels of lead. These paints are still widely available and used in many countries for decorative purposes, although good substitutes without lead are available.
To spread awareness of this urgent danger, World Health Organization, UN Environment, and the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint compiled a report on activities during this week. Check out the report. Spread the word on social using the hashtag #BanLeadPaint and if you or your organization is planning an event around this week, let World Health Organization know!