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Global elimination of lead paint: why and how countries should take action - Policy brief

Lead has toxic effects on almost all body systems and is especially harmful for children and pregnant women. Lead paint is an avoidable source of exposure to lead. “Lead paint” or “lead-based paint” is paint to which one or more lead compounds have been intentionally added by the manufacturer to obtain specific characteristics. One important way to prevent exposure is for countries to establish legally binding regulatory measures prohibiting the addition of lead to paint.

This policy brief summarizes key information explaining the background and rationale for eliminating lead paint, and describes what countries should do. More detailed information is available in the companion technical brief.

This document was prepared by WHO under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) full sized project 9771: Global best practices on emerging chemical policy issues of concern under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). This project is funded by the GEF, implemented by UNEP and executed by the SAICM Secretariat. WHO acknowledges the financial contribution of the Global Environment Facility for the development, editing and design of the document.

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