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Sources of lead exposure in various countries

  • Emmanuel Obeng-Gyasi EMAIL logo


This review evaluates the sources of lead exposure worldwide. Studies from searches relating to sources of lead exposure in various countries within different regional zones were reviewed. Results indicated that in Nigeria, exposure sources include electronic waste, paint and batteries. In Mexico exposure sources include glazed ceramics, lead contaminated utensils and lead contaminated water, for India lead sources include cosmetics and traditional medicines. Sources of lead exposure in China include e-waste, traditional medicines and industrial emissions. In France, exposure sources included lead paint from older homes, imported ceramics and cosmetics and industrial emissions. Australia’s exposure sources include paint, dust, imported toys and traditional medicines. Finally, in the United States exposure sources included paint, the industrial legacy of lead exposure and batteries. In high-income countries (HICs) the legacy of lead exposure keeps populations continuously exposed. In lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs), in addition to the legacy of lead exposure, lack of regulations or the inability to enforce regulations keeps populations exposed. In all, evidence suggests that lead exposure remains an issue of public health significance in both HIC and LMIC.

  1. Research funding: The author states no funding involved.

  2. Conflict of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.

  3. Informed consent: Not applicable.

  4. Ethical approval: This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.


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Received: 2018-06-27
Accepted: 2018-12-13
Published Online: 2019-01-09
Published in Print: 2019-03-26

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