Lead control

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

A POSSIBLE lowering of the hazards posed by the use of lead has come about with, the first international agreement on measures to reduce its use. At a two-day meeting in Paris in the last week of February at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 26 nations have signed an agreement which will fight the poisonous effects of lead through cutting its use, tightening regulations and working with industries. Efforts to make the agreement a legally binding one, however, failed as Australia and Canada, the world's top lead producers, staged strong protests.

Lead, widely used as an additive in gasoline and paint, can cause adverse effects as it accumulates in the body causing anemia, mental retardation, permanent nerve damage and behavioural disorders. According to Carol Browner, administrator, us environment protection agency, "the agreement sets the stage for further, binding action at the United Nations".

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