GENEVA (21 October 2013) - The United Nations Special Rapporteur
on toxic waste, Marc Pallemaerts
, today urged States to increase efforts to eliminate the use of lead
especially in paint and toys.
Even though lead poisoning is entirely preventable, lead exposure causes 143,000 deaths and 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year, according to the World Health Organization
"We simply cannot wait another century to eliminate the use of lead especially in paint and in toys, as there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe," Mr. Pallemaerts stressed, while joining governments and communities worldwide to mark the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, 20-26 October 2013.
Marc Pallemaerts (Belgium) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes by the UN Human Rights Council in 2012.
As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.
He is Professor of European and international environmental law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
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