As of 31 May 2020, only 39% of countries had legally binding controls on the production, import, sale and use of lead paints, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Health Observatory.

The Observatory’s lead in paint database issued an interactive map showing the countries that have lead paint legislation and their corresponding limits on the amount of lead allowed in paint. The countries with the strictest controls, such as the US, Canada, Kenya, India, and China, have 90 ppm as the upper limit of lead concentrations in paint. Switzerland, Thailand, and Tanzania have limited it to 100 ppm. The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP)  ‘Model Law and Guidance for Regulating Lead Paint’ recommends a lead concentration limit of 90 ppm.

Tracking legislation of lead in paint is part of the larger Global Health Observatory platform, which also provides information on universal health coverage, health emergencies, and health and well-being, among other topics. It also includes data on health-related issues such as child health and malnutrition, malaria, governance and aid effectiveness, maternal and reproductive health, public health and environment, and the SDGs.

On its SDG page, the Observatory provides country data for SDG targets and indicators related to, inter alia: maternal mortality, including maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births and percentage of births attended by a skilled health nurse; newborn and child mortality and the probability of dying between birth and age 1; communicable diseases, including incidence of tuberculosis, malaria, and new HIV cases; mental health and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer and cardiovascular disease; substance abuse; road traffic injuries; mortality from environmental pollution, including ambient and indoor air pollution, and unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); and development assistance and vaccine coverage.

The platform also details data by country on other health-related SDG targets, including:

  • SDG target 1.a (mobilization of resources for ending poverty);
  • SDG target 2.2 (child malnutrition);
  • SDG target 5.2 (eliminating violence against women and girls);
  • SDG target 6.1 (access to drinking water);
  • SDG target 6.a (water and sanitation-related capacity building);
  • SDG target 11.6 (clean cities), including concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM25); and
  • SDG target 16.1 (violence), including homicide rates per 100,000, broken down by sex.

The World Health Statistics 2020 published on the Observatory’s website the summarizes recent trends in life expectancy and reports on progress towards the main health and health-related SDGs and associated targets. It assesses the current availability of data, and describes the ways in which the WHO is helping countries improve health information systems and global health security. The 2020 edition also includes indicators relating to poliomyelitis, hypertension, and obesity in adults and school age children.