International Programme on Chemical Safety

Recycling used lead-acid batteries:

health considerations

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 47
Publication date: 2017
Languages: English, French, Spanish
ISBN: 978-92-4-151285-5


Full document


This document explains how recycling used lead-acid batteries can cause significant environmental contamination and human exposure to lead. It provides information about the mechanisms of lead release during recycling, the main routes of exposure, the health impacts, the associated burden of disease, methods for assessing lead exposure, and the types of control measures needed to prevent lead emissions and exposures.

The document aims to help the health sector recognize recycling used lead-acid batteries as an important source of lead exposure so that they can advocate for this practice to be better controlled and regulated. It also aims to inform policymakers of the health and economic burdens of lead exposure as a stimulus to introducing and enforcing control measures.