Mr. N. Vaghul, Chairman of ICICI Ltd., receiving
the Institutional Humanitarian award for
community services from Dr. George

The Governer of Karnataka state, Mr. Khurshed Alam Khan, releasing the conference brochure
at the opening ceremony


Purpose and Significance of the Conference
Delegates from over 20 countries at the
main conference hall

This International Conference on Lead Poisoning was organized and sponsored by The George Foundation, The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (USA), The World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Environmental Protection Agency (USA), and held on February 8-10, 1999 at Bangalore, India. One of the major objectives of the conference was to share information needed to establish a time-phased lead prevention and treatment program for India and other developing countries, and to improve programs in nations that may have already begun. The guest speakers and panel members at the conference were experts in the field from around the world. The invitees to the conference included government officials representing the environment and health departments, members of the scientific community, representatives of international organizations, and industrial leaders with current roles or likely involvement in solving the problem of lead poisoning.

The topics covered in the 3-day conference will help in formulating the national plan and improving existing plans for the prevention and treatment of lead poisoning. The topics fall within the following segments: screening and measurement; prevention; and health effects and treatment. The culminating segment on developing a national plan will integrate ideas gathered from the previous segments.

Additional objectives of the conference were:

  1. Arriving at an understanding of the worldwide dimensions of the lead problem;
  2. Developing a framework for integrated solutions to lead poisoning at the international, regional, and local levels;
  3. Shifting the focus from reactive measures to effective prevention policies;
  4. Establishing a central clearinghouse for collection and dissemination of information.

The conference was an important step toward international lead poisoning prevention. It will heighten national awareness of lead poisoning in the individual countries and provide the framework for countries to work together to develop and implement permanent solutions. Concerted follow-up efforts will sustain the momentum generated by the conference.

The proceedings of the conference were published in August 1999, and are also available at our web site A White Paper recommending specific actions steps for implementing a national program was prepared by the primary sponsors and other heads of major institutions, which was presented to policy-makers in developing countries prior to the end of 1999. Text of the White Paper is available in "Critical Issues" section of this website.

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