International Cooperation

Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint

Banner for Lead Paint Alliance

The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint ("Lead Paint Alliance" or "the Alliance") is a voluntary collaborative partnership of governments, private industry, and NGOs that works to promote the phase-out of the use of lead in paint. The Lead Paint Alliance was established in 2009 and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) serve as the joint secretariat.

The main objective of the Alliance is to prevent children’s exposure to lead via paints containing lead, particularly those in countries where lead paint is still manufactured and is commonly used. Governments, private industries, and NGOs can support this goal by becoming a partner of the Lead Paint Alliance.

Visit the official website of the Lead Paint Alliance. Exit

April 2015: The Lead Paint Alliance, co-led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), announced the goal of eliminating lead paint around the world by 2020, at the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day organized by the Global Poverty Project and the Earth Day Network.  Read more about the launch: Global Alliance Announces Goal to Eliminate Lead in Paint by 2020 Exit

September 2014: The EPA participated in two lead paint events co-hosted by World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. The first event was a workshop in which participants learned about and discussed establishing legal limits on lead in residential paint. The workshop was followed by the Third Meeting of the Advisory Group to the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. Both meetings were held at the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi. 72 participants attended the events from 28 Governments, 17 non-governmental organizations, and three intergovernmental organizations.

Click on the map to browse Lead Week Activities that occurred in the United States and around the world!

October 2014: U.S. EPA participated in the second International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action (October 19-25). At least 79 events took place in 37 countries across the globe. Activities included classroom and school events, public outreach, workshop and training sessions, as well as social media and press campaigns. Click on the map Exit to find Lead Week Activities that occurred in the United States and around the world! Visit the WHO website for international campaign materials for the International lead poisoning prevention week of action.  Exit

October 2013: U.S. EPA participated in the first International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action Exit(October 20-26, 2013). During the campaign week, the Lead Paint Alliance raised awareness about lead poisoning, highlighted countries' and partners' efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning, and urged further action to eliminate lead paint.

September 2013: U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of State, and the United Nations Environment Program co-hosted a meeting attended by representatives from 13 different nations, on the dangers of lead paint and the important work of the Lead Paint Alliance. This meeting highlighted options for engaging with the Alliance and encouraged attendees to participate further in its work.

Learn more:

Children at an event in Philippines for the International Lead Poisioining Prevention Week of Action. (October 2013)

Lead exposure is a well-known source of injury to human health, particularly to the health of children and to workers in lead industries. No level of exposure to lead is considered safe. Children exposed to high levels of lead may experience sensory, motor, cognitive and behavioral impacts, including learning disabilities; attention deficits; disorders in coordination, visual, spatial and language skills; and anemia.

Using leaded paint creates potential lead poisoning problems for the future. Most poisoning from lead paint occurs when infants and children ingest the dust of old lead paint as it deteriorates of chips off surfaces. Thus, lead paint poses a health risk long after the initial painting is done. That is why we want to work together to make sure that no paints contain lead.

Alternatives to lead paint already exist. Although lead paint is still produced and sold in many countries around the world, a simple, cost-effective alternative exists. Paints without added lead are as effective and economically competitive as their lead counterparts. In fact, a recent study published by UNEP and the NGO IPEN shows that in many places where lead paint is sold, lead free alternatives exist for similar prices.

About the Global Alliance

The U.S. EPA is an active member, and Advisory Group Chair, of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint Exit. The Global Alliance is a global partnership of Governments, private industry, and NGOs that works to promote the phase-out of the use of lead in paint.

The work of the Global Alliance includes raising awareness of the dangers lead poisoning poses to human health; and helping developing countries build regulations to stop the manufacture, import, sale and use of paints containing lead.

  • The overall goal of the partnership is to prevent children’s exposure to lead via paints containing lead and to minimize occupational exposures to lead in paint.
  • The broad objective is to phase out the manufacture and sale of paints containing lead and eventually to eliminate the risks from such paint.

As Chair of the GAELP Advisory Group, U.S. EPA is working to help make other nations aware of the dangers of lead paint and ways to address this problem. The Global Alliance is focusing its efforts for 2013-2015 on helping countries without existing lead paint laws put effective legislation/regulations in place.

The Global Alliance has five key Focal Areas for organizing activities:

  • Health Aspects
  • Environmental Aspects
  • Workers Health
  • Legislation and Regulations
  • Outreach to Industry

The Global Alliance is a led by a joint secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It was established at the International Conference on Chemicals Management at its second session (ICCM2) as one initiative to implement the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). Exit

This initiative promotes the implementation of paragraph 57 of the Plan of Implementation of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (PDF) Exit, which states: to phase out lead in lead-based paint and in other sources of human exposure, work to prevent, in particular, childrens exposure to lead and strengthen monitoring and surveillance efforts and the treatment of lead poisoning.


For additional information on EPA's work with the Lead Paint Alliance, contact:
Angela Bandemehr
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: bandemehr.angela@epa.gov
(202) 564-1427