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Global Lead Network: About the Alliance's International Program

The Alliance To End Childhood Lead Poisoning is a non-profit, public interest organization, founded to launch a comprehensive interdisciplinary attack on lead poisoning and pollution in the U.S. and abroad. The Alliance has been working extensively to promote prevention policy in the international arena and to integrate lead poisoning prevention successfully into broader environment and sustainable development issues, such as urban air quality and global climate change.

The Alliance was formed in 1990 by nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the diverse fields needed to mount an effective interdisciplinary attack on lead poisoning: pollution prevention, public health, low-income housing, environmental justice, education, pediatrics, occupational health and safety, children’s welfare, and civil rights.

The Alliance has been active in the international arena virtually since its inception a decade ago. Our Global Dimensions of Lead Poisoning: An Initial Analysis first documented that lead poisoning is a serious environmental health hazard to children and adults in virtually every country – both developed and developing. That report formed the basis for the Alliance’s 1994 Global Dimensions of Lead Poisoning: The First International Prevention Conference, which attracted over 260 diverse participants from 37 countries in every region. In order to build upon the recommendations of the conference, the Alliance produced its International Action Plan for Preventing Lead Poisoning (now available in English, Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish). The Action Plan is widely recognized as providing the policy framework for prevention efforts at the community, national, regional, and international levels.

The Alliance continues to head the charge to accelerate the global phase-out of leaded gasoline, which remains the most dispersive source of lead poisoning worldwide. Our Myths and Realities of Phasing Out Leaded Gasoline is used by advocates in many countries to counter the specious but pervasive arguments that still impede expedited phase-out.

The Alliance continues to coordinate its work in international fora, such as the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, Habitat, and the Climate Change Negotiations, with national and community efforts in order to integrate lead poisoning prevention into broader environmental, health, and sustainable development issues such as urban pollution and global climate change. The Alliance is also active in regional fora. The meetings we convened in conjunction with the Santiago Summit of the Americas, for example, demonstrated that exchanges of experience and best practices among countries within a region are the most effective way of developing prevention-based solutions.

Current priorities of the Alliance’s International Program include: continuing our worldwide leaded gasoline phase-out campaign with a particular regional focus on Africa; emphasizing the connections between leaded gasoline phase-out and broader issues of sustainable development such as clean fuels and environmental health; and identifying and addressing sources of lead additional to gasoline.