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A Multi-Year Lead Strategy-Proposal (2021-2025): To study Blood Lead Levels, investigate the sources of lead, and develop strategies to reduce lead exposure in Bhutan

Lead is a potent toxin that has been used extensively over the centuries in numerous applications and continues to be used today. Lead poisoning is an under-recognized problem in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). There is NO level of lead in one’s blood that is safe.

The damage caused by lead is permanent. Prevention is the only way to protect children from lead poisoning. This multi-year strategy is a critical first step in understanding the extent and sources of the lead problem and to begin to develop strategies to protect our infants and children.

Through this multi-year strategy, numerous blood lead level (BLL) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) studies will be conducted to better quantify the prevalence of individuals with EBLLs, as well as identify the sources of lead (paint, toys, soil, water, air, etc.). As malnutrition and anemia can increase the absorption of lead, links between undernutrition and anemia and EBLLs will also be investigated.

Recommendations for all stakeholders will be made based on the findings of this strategy.