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Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice Study on Lead Poisoning and Pollution in Indonesia

Several studies found a lack of awareness about the risk of lead

poisoning among parents of children with high blood lead level, including communities in West Java and Central Java. On this basis, Empatika conducted a study to better understand people's knowledge, attitudes, and practices about lead pollution. This study fills an important gap in understanding about people's awareness of lead exposure in Indonesia to support advocacy related to lead poisoning prevention. 


The study was implemented using a multi-phase approach, incorporating mixed methods. This included participatory Focus Group Discussions (pFGDs) with community leaders, teachers, healthcare workers, parents, and young people, in-depth interviews to explore topics for follow-up or further exploration, and a complementary survey.


Some of the key insights included:

  • Many people think other sources of pollutants are more concerning compared to ULAB (used lead acid battery) recycling. For example, 60% of respondents in Bogor were most concerned about household waste, while 53% in Tegal were most concerned about the aluminum smelting. 

  • 65% of respondents in Bogor said they were 'not worried at all' or were 'worried in the past but not now' because ULAB smelting has discontinued in their area

  • Most people in Bogor and Tegal identify respiratory problems as the main health consequence of smelting. They did not feel they had experienced any long term effects from ULAB smelting.

  • People identified that there had been changes in their environment such as groundwater changing taste or smell, but did not necessarily associate these with ULAB smelting and did not consider them to be dangerous for their health.

  • Most people that we met say they are not aware of any health programme or promotion related to lead in their communities

Location

Tegal, Central Java and Bogor, West Java

Methods

Mixed methods, pFGDs, in-depth interviews, and survey

Participants

Community leaders, teachers, healthcare workers, parents, and young people

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