Global Lead Program: Pure Earth’s 5-Phase Approach to Solving Lead Poisoning
Our goal is to measurably and sustainably reduce lead pollution and poisoning where we work and to encourage and enable increased action by other stakeholders in the global health and development sphere.
Pure Earth’s Global Lead Program strategy is designed around a framework consisting of five core elements that apply in all countries. This 5-phase approach was informed by our years of experience implementing over 50 projects in multiple countries to mitigate lead exposure.
- Health Surveillance: Conduct baseline blood lead level (BLL) testing and analysis to understand prevalence, severity and location of exposure.
- Source Analyses: Measure likely sources in homes where people have elevated lead levels, to determine the most significant sources of exposure.
- Source-specific Interventions: Design and implement a range of interventions to reduce exposures and the use or release of lead in products and industrial processes.
- Communications: Disseminate findings and recommendations to inform and build support with governments and funders for action.
- Institutional Strengthening: Enhance the capabilities of government institutions to plan, implement, and sustain effective public health programs to reduce lead poisoning.
Global Lead Program Achievements: 2020-2023
Between 2020 and 2023, Pure Earth and our partners made significant strides in combating lead poisoning worldwide. Pure Earth’s technical excellence continues to improve the health and well-being of communities affected by lead pollution. Learn more about the impact of our Global Lead Program.
Our Global Presence
Pure Earth prioritizes local knowledge and solutions. Pure Earth is working to address lead poisoning in these focal countries under the Global Lead Program: Bangladesh, Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines.
Priority countries on a “watch list” due to high levels of lead poisoning are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Pakistan, and Nigeria. These remain a priority for program expansion if and when additional resources are secured.
Pure Earth Is A Global Leader In Addressing Lead Poisoning, Reducing Children’s Exposures
Pure Earth has been acknowledged as a leading organization addressing global childhood lead poisoning. In their Global Lead Exposure report, think tank Rethink Priorities evaluated the impact of Pure Earth’s work and confirmed the effectiveness of our approach and programs.
Spotlight on Spices
Eliminating Lead-Contaminated Spices in Georgia
In 2019, Georgia faced a childhood lead poisoning crisis. A MICS survey revealed that 41% of children ages 2-7 in the country had blood lead levels at or above 5 μg/dL (the level at which the CDC recommends intervention). This was a staggering discovery. Even small doses of lead in children can slow development and cause learning disabilities, among other dangerous health effects.
The Georgian government worked with Pure Earth to better understand the source of the widespread lead poisoning. In under two years, government and Pure Earth investigators were not only able to identify the source – lead in spices – but also help stop the flow of contaminated spices into Georgian markets almost completely.