On the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, WHO urges countries to address lead paint as a first step.

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization: 10/23/13

18 October 2013 | Geneva – Lead poisoning has devastating health consequences, in particular for children, with childhood lead exposure estimated to contribute to 600 000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year. Overall, 99% of children affected by high exposure to lead live in low- and middle-income countries, says WHO on the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, and calls on countries to strengthen national actions to eliminate lead paint.

Lead a major source of poisoning

Lead paint is a major source of potential lead poisoning for young children. It may be found in the home, on toys, furniture and on other objects. Decaying lead paint on walls, furniture and other interior surfaces creates lead-contaminated dust in the home that young children easily ingest. Mouthing lead-painted toys and other objects also exposes young children to lead. The sweet taste of lead paint means that some children even pick off and swallow small chips of paint. Read More