From 20 to 26 October 2019 the international lead poisoning prevention week of action will took place, with a particular focus on eliminating lead paint. Lead poisoning is preventable, yet the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has estimated that in 2017 lead exposure accounted for 1.06 million deaths and 24.4 million years lost to disability and death due to long-term effects on health, with the highest burden in developing regions.
Of particular concern is the role of lead exposure in the development of intellectual disability in children. Even though there is wide recognition of this 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.
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 alternatives without added lead are available. By eliminating lead paint, we will contribute to the achievement of some of the Sustainable Development Goal targets.