Lead in paint and Poverty alleviation
By Sara Brosché, PhD, Global Lead Paint Elimination Project Manager, IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network), E-mail: [email protected] - sent in an email to the IPENListserv, 16 June 2016.
VAP Entry 2013: Many Languages, One Common Problem. Lead-safety message: "Lead affects not just one nation, but a global community." Materials: a graphics application incorporating a map and List of lead in different languages. Collage Artist: Natalie Cecere. http://volcanoartprize.com/portfolio-item/cecere-natalie-many-languages-one-common-problem/ ; http://volcanoartprize.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Cecere-Lead-in-Different-languages.pdf
Recent research at the New York University has shown the high cost of childhood lead exposure for a country in terms of loss of lifelong earnings. That is, a child whose brain development is harmed due to exposure to lead during early years will not be able to reach its full potential and contribute fully to the country´s economic development. In fact, these costs are far higher than the official development assistance many developing countries and countries in transition receive. Although not the only one, lead paint is a major source of childhood lead exposure.
This research is available through a NYU website: http://www.med.nyu.edu/pediatrics/research/environmentalpediatrics/leadexposure
And if a country is hard to find on the map, the numbers are listed in this table (compared to development assistance): http://www.med.nyu.edu/pediatrics/sites/default/files/pediatrics/worldmap/images/ODA-table-color.pdf
And here, as percentage of the lost GDP: http://www.med.nyu.edu/pediatrics/sites/default/files/pediatrics/worldmap/images/Attina-Trasande_supplemental-material.pdf
Looking at the smaller scale, the child who is harmed by lead exposure during early ages will not be able to contribute fully to the economy of its family. In addition, such a child has a higher likelihood of being a burden on the health care system, the school system, the penitentiary system and other social welfare structures due to the effects of childhood lead exposure. These include various physical problems, a lowered IQ and learning problems, lower impulse control and higher aggressiveness.
So, eliminating lead paint in a country will most certainly help alleviate poverty both at the larger national scale, as well as on the individual level.
These are some very brief comments on the issue, I would be happy to elaborate and add more detail as needed.
IPEN - a toxics free future
2012 VAP Entry. Title: Lead is still present in excess in paints sold in many countries in Africa. Lead-Safety Message: Ask your health department or the manufacturer before you buy paints, so you know which brands have no added lead. Description of Work/Materials: Photoshop Poster. Artist: Samuel Tetsopgang. http://volcanoartprize.com/portfolio-item/lead-in-paints-africa/