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A self-test kit to detect lead presence in private homes

Progress stage
Jan 2023 to Jan 2024
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Jan 2023 to Jan 2024

Lead-based paint is still widespread for domestic use in Côte d’Ivoire and is considered one of the major sources of metal exposure for children. To detect its presence in houses and to raise awareness among households on the health risks associated with lead, the Institute for Research and Development (IRD) has developed a test for families in Abidjan. FID’s funding supports the deployment of the kits that will be used to assess the extent of the lead paint problem in Abidjan’s homes.

Project deployed by:

Une femme médecin soigne une patienteUne femme médecin soigne une patiente


WHO (World Health Organization) classifies lead as one of the ten chemicals raising most serious concern for public health, specifically for children and women of childbearing age.

Young children are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead, which can have serious and irreversible consequences on their health.

Analyses conducted in different African countries have shown that current levels of lead exposure are often high and this is most likely to be the case in Abidjan, due in particular to the presence of lead in paint used in houses.


In order to reduce the exposure of pregnant women and young children to lead toxicity in homes in Abidjan,** IRD has planned a research protocol allowing households to test their own environment using simple kits that can detect the presence of the metal in different rooms of a house.** It is complemented by information on the health risks associated with lead poisoning and possible corrective measures.

FID funding opens the possibility of measuring the real presence of lead in private homes by quantifying the levels contained in the paint and in children’s blood. At the same time, the surveys assess the motivation of families in testing their environment.

Expected results

The use of kits aims to raise awareness among families about the dangers of lead in their homes, to identify houses containing lead paint and detect the level of lead in the blood of children.

  • Collecting data on the extent of lead paint in Abidjan
  • Changing families’ knowledge of lead poisoning risks
  • Increasing the number of families using the kits and identifying areas with lead paint
  • Analyzing blood lead levels in all children under 5 years old of the participating households
  • Measuring whether families respond to the identification of metal exposure risks
French National Research Institute for Development (IRD)

French National Research Institute for Development (IRD)

The French National Research Institute for Development (IRD) is a science and technology establishment under the joint supervision of the French Ministries of Higher Education and Research and Foreign Affairs.


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