Lead Exposure Elimination Project
What we do
LEEP advocates for regulation of lead paint in countries with large and growing burdens of lead poisoning from paint. Our approach is to identify these countries, create incentives through awareness, and support governments to introduce and enforce lead paint laws.
Our aim is to eliminate lead paint in our target countries, allowing children to reach their full potential, and live healthier, happier lives.
Why lead paint
One in three children has dangerous levels of lead in their bloodstream. This lead acts as a potent toxin that causes irreversible harm to their brains and vital organs, resulting in reduced intelligence, lower educational attainment, behavioural disorders, increased tendencies for violent crime, cardiovascular disease, and reduced lifetime earnings. The impact on cognitive development is responsible for almost $1 trillion of income loss globally per year, while the health effects cause 1 million deaths and 22 million DALYs per year. This accounts for 1% of the global burden of disease. A primary cause of lead exposure is lead paint, which is widespread and unregulated in over 100 countries.
LEEP was inspired by the principles of effective altruism. We therefore aim to achieve the greatest impact possible by prioritising evidence, cost-effectiveness, and transparency. Lead paint regulation has a strong evidence base for impact, highly promising cost-effectiveness, and a demonstrated precedent for tractability.
The effective altruist organisations Givewell and Charity Entrepreneurship both support lead paint regulation. LEEP was incubated by Charity Entrepreneurship, who provided our first $60,000 in seed funding.