In the environment, Lead and Cadmium are toxic to plants, animals and micro-organisms. Lead and Cadmium are metals that are mainly transported over local, national or regional distances. The export of new and used products containing lead and cadmium remains a challenge for developing countries and countries with economies in transition which lack the capacity to manage and dispose of the substances in products in an environmentally sound manner. Since 2001, UNEP has been mandated to address Lead and Cadmium issues. UNEP’s key activities on lead and cadmium are detailed on this page.
Since 2009 the Lead Paint Alliance aims to catalyze efforts to prevent children’s exposure to lead from paints and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint. In June 2014, the first United Nations Environment Assembly renew the mandate of UNEP and WHO to build capacity on lead paint and to compile information on techniques for emission abatement and on the possibility of replacing lead and cadmium with less hazardous substances or techniques.
UNEP, in cooperation with partners, promotes the environmentally sound management throughout the life-cycle of lead and cadmium batteries in ways that lead to minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. UNEP is seeking to engage with potential partners to develop the technical and financial consortia needed to address this problem and deliver impacts on the ground.
Explore UNEP Resources on Lead and Cadmium
Reports and Publications
Since 2002 UNEP supports the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV), the leading global public-private initiative promoting cleaner fuels and vehicles in developing and transition countries, throughout its successful 10 years campaign to end the use of leaded petrol on a global scale.
Lead and Cadmium activities
UNEP DTIE, Chemicals and Waste Branch
11-13, chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland