By Winnie Maina | Monday Nov 6, 2017
The effects of lead exposure to health are well documented, but lead-based paints are still available in a number of countries around the world. Some health effects of lead exposure include intellectual disability, deafness, and kidney failure. One third of countries in the world are yet to regulate the use of lead paints.
Lead is especially dangerous to children's developing brains shortening their attention spans, triggering behavior problems, and impairing their ability to learn for the rest of their lives. Workers who work in the paint manufacturing industries and painters may be some of the people whose health is at a great risk from this exposure. In Developing countries where lead exposure is highest these health impacts have significant economic costs.
There are safe and affordable alternatives to lead-based paints. UN Environment and the World Health Organization through the Global Alliance are working together to Eliminate Lead in Paint to prevent exposure to lead, while promoting the phase-out of paints containing lead. An example of a country that has made significant progress is Cameroon.
Pollution is the theme of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly, which is being held in Nairobi from 4-6 December.