Effort to prevent lead poisoning among children goes global
Paint the main culprit in exposure
More than 35 countries will take place in activities associated with Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action – an effort spearheaded by the EPA, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. This is the first time the week will be recognized internationally.
The EPA translated educational materials on the hazards of lead poisoning and provided customized materials for international activities and events.
“This year’s theme, ‘Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,’ underscores the importance of testing your home for lead and understanding how to prevent harmful exposures,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Joining with other countries to raise awareness about protecting children from the harmful exposure to lead will have a long-term positive effect on the health of children worldwide.”
This year, the partners will focus on the need to eliminate lead in paint, reducing lead exposure and raising public awareness.
Examples of international activities include:
- national outreach campaigns conducted by the Georgian and South African governments
- a medical professionals’ conference in India
- the release of a report on the lead content of household paints offered for sale in the Philippines
- outreach by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization.
In the U.S., paint containing lead was effectively banned for residential use in 1978. However, sources of children’s exposure to lead from paint can still be found in some older buildings.
Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. Here are some simple tips to help protect your children:
- If you live in a home built before 1978, have your home inspected for lead.
- Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead exposure.
- Get the facts. Visit epa.gov/lead or call 1-800-424-LEAD.
Click here for more information about the U.S. National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and a map of Lead Week Activities occurring in the United States and around the world.
Click here for information about the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint.