Lead is a major global hazard, with millions of people exposed to it every year. The WHO estimates that lead poisoning causes 21.7 million years lost to disability and death worldwide.
Exposure to lead becomes hazardous when the body absorbs more lead than it can excrete. Lead is a toxic metal that can damage many organs and systems in the body, especially the brain and nervous system.
Lead can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal absorption. Inhalation is the most common route of exposure for adults, while ingestion is the most common route of exposure for children. Lead can be ingested from contaminated food, water, soil, or dust. It can also be absorbed through the skin from contact with contaminated soil or dust.
Regulation of paint
Sri Lanka has made some progress in reducing lead exposure, but there are still significant challenges. One area of concern is the lack of regulation of certain types of paint. Another concern is lead exposure in the occupational environment.
Environmentalists have called for the government to take further action to address lead exposure in Sri Lanka. This includes recognizing all types of paint in the law, establishing legal provisions and systematic implementation processes for workplaces with lead exposure, and collecting data on the average blood lead levels of informal sector workers.