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
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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