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Lead Exposure Elimination Project

Illustrative image

▲ Photo by Hemerson Coelho on Unsplash

The Lead Exposure Elimination Project (LEEP) is a Charity Entrepreneurship-incubated charity advocating for the elimination of lead in paint in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Removing lead from paint reduces neurological damage in children, improving health and future earnings. LEEP has made significant progress in advocating for lead paint regulations across Malawi, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and more. With more support, they may be able to scale programs in up to fifty countries.

What is this funding opportunity?

LEEP is rapidly expanding its operations, working in 20 countries in 2023 alone. In each country, LEEP:

  1. Engages with key stakeholders
  2. Conducts market studies on lead levels in paint
  3. Shares results of the study with government, seeking commitments to regulate the sale of paint
  4. Assists manufacturers in switching to lead-free paint
  5. Conducts a follow-up study to ensure lead paint has been removed

Why does Founders Pledge recommend funding this work?

Lead exposure is a major problem, relative to the philanthropic attention it gets. 1 in 3 children in LMICs are poisoned with lead. Lead exposure has an economic cost of $1 trillion, yet less than $10 million is spent on fixing the problem.

LEEP has a proven track record, securing government commitments to regulate lead paint in nine countries including Malawi, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and more.

LEEP’s programs are extremely cost-effective. We estimate that it costs $1.66 to prevent one child’s lead exposure (in expectation). As of August 2023, that makes LEEP one of our most cost-effective charities.

LEEP has a stand-out team. Its directors and advisors have broad skills and experience in policy advocacy, research, medicine, consulting, operations and non-profit startups.

What would they do with more funding?

Additional funding will help LEEP:

  • Expand paint regulation advocacy into new countries
  • Ensure high compliance in existing countries
  • Explore regulating other sources of lead

To find out more about this high-impact funding opportunity, speak to your Community Manager or Advisor.

About the author


Tom Barnes

Applied Researcher

Tom joined Founders Pledge in September 2021 as a Junior Researcher. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Warwick, getting involved with the Effective Altruism university group. After graduating in July 2021, he interned with Rethink Priorities, researching various longtermist causes.

Outside of EA, he enjoys philosophy chats, maps and cats.