Delving into the challenging topic of lead exposure and protecting children around the world is complicated and multifaceted.


We have compiled a resource that answers some of the most commonly asked questions about lead exposure, our partnership and our initiative.

The partnership will protect children from the harmful effects of lead exposure by working to raise awareness on the dangers of lead exposure on children’s long-term health and development, and mobilize action to abolish dangerous practices that cause lead pollution, including the substandard recycling of lead acid batteries.  

Pure Earth, Clarios Foundation and UNICEF have established the Protecting Every Child’s Potential initiative to recruit partners in support of existing and new projects working to reduce lead pollution in all its forms.

For more information, please review PECP guiding principles.

The PECP initiative will mobilize international action to prevent children’s exposure to lead. The initiative will raise awareness about the issues of lead exposure; support decision makers to act; and help to scale up interventions that work, using lessons gleaned from the implementation of PECP projects.

PECP will:

  • Raise awareness about lead exposure and build knowledge on the issues, causes and effective interventions to prevent children from being exposed to lead.  The aim is to spark a much larger global response from bi-lateral organizations, private sector and others to prioritize this environmental health issue.
  • Assist governments to ensure responsible lead smelting and use.
  • Mobilize collective action, national leadership and strengthen institutional capacities to prevent lead exposure to protect every child’s potential. 
  • Activate action in additional impacted countries to tackle this solvable problem.

For more information, please review the PECP strategic approaches.

  • Nearly 1 in 3 children worldwide – up to 800 million – are affected by lead poisoning.
  • Informal recycling of lead-acid batteries is a leading contributor to lead exposure in children. Around half of used lead-acid batteries in low and middle-income countries end up in the informal economy where unregulated and often illegal operations break open cases, spilling acid and lead dust into the soil, and smelt lead in open-air furnaces that emit toxic fumes across surrounding neighborhoods.
  • As a notorious, potent neurotoxin, lead causes irreparable harm to the brain. It is particularly destructive to babies and children under the age of five whose brains are damaged before they’ve had the opportunity to fully develop, leading to lifelong neurological, cognitive and physical impairment.
  • The impact of lead exposure on children affects their rights and futures. Preventing lead exposure during childhood creates the opportunity for healthy growth and development.

The partners agree that every child has the right to grow well in a changing world and fulfil their potential.  The partnership is a chance to combine strengths to work towards SDG 3: Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages, SDG 9: Building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization; and SDG 12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and productive patterns, while being anchored in the principles of SDG 17 – Partnerships.  

Pure Earth:  Pure Earth has a 15-year track record addressing lead pollution. In collaboration with local partners, the organization has conducted more than 1,400 field assessments of lead contaminated sites and implemented more than 25 lead remediation and risk-reduction demonstration projects in developing countries, impacting more than 1,000,000 people. For more information on Pure Earth, please visit https://www.pureearth.org/

Clarios Foundation:  In addition to providing initial funding for the PECP initiative, Clarios bring expertise in recycling and management of batteries in a sustainable and responsible way, industry leadership and convening power, strong government relations and expertise and familiarity in working together with partners to create change. For more information on Clarios Foundation, please visit https://www.clarios.com/global-responsibility/clarios-foundation

UNICEF:  Worldwide presence, technical leadership and experience working with governments and non-governmental organizations, at the national and community level, on children’s needs and rights. UNICEF can bring solutions to scale and has an unmatched record of delivering measurable results for children. For more information on UNICEF, please visit https://www.unicef.org/

  • Founding partners – The three founding organizations, Pure Earth, Clarios Foundation and UNICEF, bring together their considerable proficiency and resources to create an initiative to protect every child’s potential (PECP). By establishing PECP and its network, they hope to mobilize action around the world to create a lead-free future for all children.  
  • Project donors – Project donors support PECP and its guiding principles, actively contributing to the awareness and uptake of action to abolish lead exposure. These organizations fund projects and assist with ongoing campaigns in support of this shared vision.  
  • Technical partners – Technical partners contribute invaluable expertise and knowledge in aid of the initiative. They consist of global experts in a range of sectors who can provide consultation and aid in the design of future projects.
  • Implementation partners – Implementation partners are those organizations who are on the ground carrying out PECP projects. They work in collaboration with project donors to roll out and monitor campaigns and strategies in line with the PECP vision. 

These countries were selected based on these criteria:

  • Significant exposures to lead, and high baseline blood lead levels in children
  • Known political will to address the problem
  • Strong programmatic presence by Pure Earth and/or UNICEF
  • Feasibility of building capacity to address the issue and/or significantly expand upon interventions already demonstrating measurable impact.

The initiative provides a platform to mobilize a larger global response from the private sector, bilateral agencies, implementing organizations, technical partners, individual champions and experts to protect every child’s potential by preventing childhood lead exposure.

Learn how you can contribute to the mission of the PECP by clicking here.

Our aim is to create a platform to address this issue.  In the short term, the interventions in Bangladesh, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia and Mexico will develop comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plans to assess the progress, results and success. 

In the future, our goal is to grow participation and scale the engagement on solutions – this is a problem affecting millions of children, but one we can address through partnership.


Please email us at the address below for help.

Please email us here for help.
Lead exposure wreaks its havoc silently

Our partner projects

The founding partners are already taking action to protect the world’s most vulnerable children and making steady progress toward improved health and a future free from lead exposure for millions of children across the planet.

Join Us

The pathways to engagement with PECP are many but the goal is the same for each individual and organization that joins and supports our mission – protecting the world’s most vulnerable children from lead exposure.


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