International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, 21-27 October 2019

15 October 2019

Article: 53/4107

Lead Poisoning Prevention Week takes place from 20-26 October 2019, with the focus this year being on eliminating the use of lead paint.

Lead poisoning is preventable, but in 2017 it was estimated that lead exposure accounted for 1.06 million deaths worldwide, and 24.4 million years lost to disability, with the highest burden in developing regions.

A particular concern is the role of lead exposure in the development of intellectual disability in children. Although there is wide recognition of the 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.

The 2019 campaign aims to:

  • raise awareness about health effects of lead poisoning 
  • highlight countries and partners' efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning 
  • urge further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at country level

Information about a recent initiative to reduce lead in Scotland’s water system can be found on the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) website.

Source: WHO, October 2019