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June 10, 2021

In a new report, think tank Rethink Priorities acknowledges Pure Earth as the “largest organization working on lead exposure,” and recommends Pure Earth as a leading organization with effective solutions.

The Global Lead Exposure Report from researchers David Bernard and Jason Schukraft draws on extensive research and several interviews with experts in lead exposure. They observe and we agree that “lead exposure appears to be neglected relative to the size of the problem.” The authors go on to single out Pure Earth as one of the few organizations they would recommend:

If one wanted to fund direct lead exposure work this year, we would recommend…  Pure Earth.

Based on their review of Pure Earth’s work in the field,  the report’s authors explain why they believe our approach and methods to be effective:

… Pure Earth runs a global lead program. They appear to be the only organization that both (a) specializes primarily in reducing lead exposure and (b) takes a comprehensive approach to the issue, attempting to identify the most important exposure pathways and the most cost-effective interventions to address those exposure pathways.

Our overall impression of Pure Earth is very positive. They seem well-attuned to the traditional EA framework for evaluating the promise of potential interventions…. they emphasized the importance of measuring blood lead levels before and after an intervention to see if (and to what extent) the intervention worked.

The authors note our well-rounded scope of work, from global partnerships to research and our pollution investigations and database.

Pure Earth recently partnered with UNICEF and the Clarios Foundation to launch the Protecting Every Child’s Potential (PECP) initiative, which is working to reduce lead exposure in Mexico, Bangladesh, Georgia, Ghana, and Indonesia. Pure Earth runs the Toxic Sites Identification Program to “locate and assess contaminated sites in low- and middle-income countries and identify those that pose the greatest threat to human health.” Pure Earth also helped found the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution. Pure Earth maintains a very useful collection of key publications on lead and health.

We appreciate the recognition of the efforts of our global team, and the call to action to funders looking to make an impact on this critical, emerging global health issue.

Visit Pure Earth’s website to explore ways to support our work and be part of the solution.

Read the full Rethink Priorities report here and on the Effective Altruism Forum.

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