Pure Earth is a global leader in reducing children’s exposures to lead. Over the past 15 years, it has assessed thousands of contaminated sites, published groundbreaking research, and demonstrated solutions in more than 50 affected communities. Most recently Pure Earth and UNICEF released a groundbreaking report, The Toxic Truth, revealing for the first time that 1 in 3 children around the world are lead poisoned and outlined evidenced-based solutions. Now is the time to put these proven solutions to work and scale up.
In 2021, Pure Earth was acknowledged as the largest organization addressing the global childhood lead poisoning crisis, and our Global Lead Program received critical praise.
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.
GiveWell, one of the country’s leading results-oriented philanthropy organizations, recommended support for Pure Earth’s work on reducing lead exposure in low- and middle-income countries.
Realizing Children’s Full Potential by Ending Lead Poisoning
With support from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Pure Earth will be strengthening expertise in national healthcare systems to prevent, identify, and treat lead poisoning in 5 priority countries.
Takeda has awarded JPY 1 billion (~$7.5 million USD) to Pure Earth to help protect children in Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Peru from lead poisoning. Today, 1 in 3 of the world’s children have enough lead in their blood to cause permanent brain damage, yet many countries lack systems and technical capacity to effectively address it. By strengthening countries’ health care systems and training health professionals to identify, monitor, treat and reduce childhood lead exposure, while educating parents, teachers and schoolchildren, this five-year program will enable these children to reach their full potential.
Protecting Every Child’s Potential Initiative
Launched in 2020, the Protecting Every Child’s Potential initiative is a public private partnership that works to raise awareness of the impact of lead exposure on children’s long-term health and development and mobilize action to abolish dangerous practices that cause harmful lead exposure. Around 1 in 3 children – up to 800 million globally – have blood lead levels indicative of lead poisoning. Informal and substandard recycling of lead-acid batteries is a leading contributor to exposure in areas where children play, live and go to school in low and middle-income countries.
With the scope and scale of this crisis in mind, Pure Earth, UNICEF, and the Clarios Foundation partnered to form the Protecting Every Child’s Potential initiative. We believe that children deserve a future free from lead exposure. By combining the expertise of the public and private sectors and civil society, we are working toward that reality.
Rapid Marketplace Screenings in 25 Countries
In 2021, Pure Earth launched an ambitious project, supported by the grant from GiveWell, to conduct regional Rapid Marketplace Screenings (RMS) for lead in 25 countries. Using a protocol that allows quick collection of data, Pure Earth will deploy global teams to investigate markets worldwide. They will sample items ranging from spices to medicines, cosmetics, toys, ceramics, aluminum cookware, paints, sweets and other items. The data collected will help governments protect their citizens by keeping pollution out of homes and kitchens.
The 25 countries include Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Egypt, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, The Philippines, and Indonesia.