International Lead Management Center

The International Lead Management Center provides advice on all aspects of lead risk management.

We appreciate your interest.

Contact us at:

Telephone: ++ 1 919 287 1872


Address For All Correspondence: The International Lead Management Center Post Office Box 14189

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-4189

United States of America

Address For Packages: The International Lead Management Center 2525 Meridian Parkway

Suite 100 Durham, NC 27713

United States of America

Commitment and Support

The International Lead Industry recognizes that exposure to lead can result in risks to human health and the environment. The Industry is committed, through the International Lead Management Center (ILMC), to work with governments, industries and the international community to manage the risk of lead exposure.

The Environment Ministers of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recognized in the 1996 Declaration on Risk Reduction for Lead the Industry has experience in the sound management of lead production and the prudent use of lead products, including the development of alternative solutions.

The International Lead Management Center is thus charged with the implementation of a voluntary Industry Lead Risk Management Project. The ILMC Risk Management Project is consistent with the recommendation in the UNCED Agenda 21 for action by governments and industry to enhance the sound management of chemicals.

Although ILMC was founded and is sponsored by the lead-producing industry, liaison and cooperation has been established with the major lead product sectors. ILMC expertise and advice is therefore available across the full range of issues associated with production, applications, recycling and waste management.

ILMC complements and supports existing international risk management activities and responds to the individual needs of countries who wish to introduce such projects in either industry or their local communities.

The Center welcomes inquiries and requests for either advice or assistance. Requests for assistance are assessed through the Center’s considerable network of technical, metallurgical and occupational health expertise. ILMC provides assistance by working with national governments and interested parties to identify the most appropriate risk management options.

ILMC activities are supported by an extensive and growing database containing consensus health materials and detailed lead risk information for mining, refining, manufacturing, recycling and associated case studies. The database will also maintain a register of those agencies and organizations able to assist with the funding of community based projects.

International Lead Management Center

The International Lead Management Center was founded in July 1996 and is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, in the United States of America.

The Center was established by the International Lead Industry in response to the need for coordinated international action on the issue of lead risk management.

The Center was originally founded as a “not for profit organization” by ten major mining and lead-producing corporations from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Sweden and the United States of America.

In 2005, the ILMC was incorporated as a LLC into the International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO) and in 2007 the activities of ILZRO and ILMC came under the financial support of the Lead Development Association International (LDAI) in London.

Guidance and direction on lead risk reduction priorities, project feasibility and action programs are provided by the LDAI Governing Council.  

Activities of the ILMC

Environmentally Sound Management Programs

For over a decade the ILMC has provided technical assistance to International Agencies, Governments and Companies in the Lead Industry Sector interested in assessing and reducing the risk of lead exposure. ILMC has demonstrated that lead exposure risks can be managed through the introduction of specific Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) procedures tailored to the distinct lead exposure issues unique to each country’s cultural, technical, geographic and socio-economic circumstances.

The Pilot Programs initiated under the OECD mandate enabled the ILMC to establish a proven track record of Risk Management. ILMC has worked on Multi-stakeholder Schemes in:

  • the Philippines with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Environment Program
  • Peru with the National Government
  • The Russian Federation with Electrozariad, the Russian lead industry association.
  • Mexico with the National Government and the Mexican Chamber of Mines.

Expertise gained implementing the Pilot Programs ensures that any such procedures for ESM are not only effective, but most importantly sustainable. All investigative data, research, analysis and documentation, including any training modules, will be retained by the government agency and the Companies responsible for implementing ESM.

Risk Management Projects

In recent years the ILMC has been working on a number of Regional and Global lead risk reduction projects.

Technical expertise has been provided to the Secretariat to the Basel Convention in the preparation of the Basel Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Recovery of Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULAB) and in the implementation of the Regional Project for the ESM of ULAB in Central America and the Caribbean and to establish a ULAB Inventory in Cambodia.

The ILMC is also is also an active member of the Green Lead Work Group, implementing Product Stewardship through life cycle management.

Occupational Health and Hygiene Training

ILMC has assisted many government agencies and companies that recognize the need to assess and reduce lead exposure. Good operating practices and hygiene procedures are the most important factors in reducing occupational lead exposure. Experience has shown that those companies with the lowest levels of exposure have invariably the highest operating standards and the best hygiene procedures in the operating areas.

Occupational health and hygiene training programs can be arranged to improve current operating practices. Where necessary ILMC can provide training for local industry based occupational hygienists so that they can deliver risk management programs at their own locations and facilities.

Information and educational materials designed to provide workers with information about personal risk management are available.

ILMC contributed to the preparation of the Basel Training Manual for the ESM of ULAB and copies can be downloaded from the Basel web site.

Outreach to Consumer Industries

Many lead-bearing finished products are essential to the social and economic needs of modern societies. Various applications could, however, have the potential to pose a risk of exposure to either the population or the environment.

ILMC has established liaison with relevant industry and consumer organizations in order to ensure a cooperative approach to minimize exposure.

Particular emphasis is given to increasing the level of recycling lead bearing materials to fully exploit the cost benefits and to reduce possible environmental risks.

ILMC can provide advice in those cases where a government agency intends to legislate against the production of a specified lead-bearing material on the most appropriate substitute and a transition frame-work consistent with multilateral trade laws and rules.

Information Resources and Databases

An essential requirement for a successful Risk Management Project, and in particular the investigation work of a Risk Management Team, is an information database. ILMC has established an extensive database covering such issues as:

    • International inventory of standards and best practice
      • for occupational exposure
    • Occupational and environmental case studies
      • for risk management projects
    • Usage, properties, risks and options
      • for lead bearing products
    • International inventory of standards and control
      • for industrial emissions
    • Research results assessing risk reduction benefits
      • for exposure reduction
    • Exposure assessments and environmental sampling
      • for abatements
      • material collection systems, recycling technology
    • Community-based risk management programs
      • an inventory of risk reduction experience 

Internet Services

Information is available electronically on the Internet at:

Visit the ILMC web site which is developed to offer information on:

  • Risk Management and Control Protocols
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • International Lead Exposure Standards
  • Testing Methods and Procedures
  • Used Lead Acid Battery Recycling
  • Best Practice Notes
  • Pilot Programs
  • NewsCasting
  • Fact Sheets
  • Diary of ILMC Activities
  • An electronic inquiry and comment hotline



During the four years that the ILMC implemented the Risk Management Pilot Programs in accordance with the OECD mandate a quarterly newsletter, NewsCasting, was published featuring updates on the Center’s activities and participation in International events.

Back issues of NewsCasting can be downloaded from the ILMC web site.


ILMC Ceramics Handbook

This book contains a comprehensive body of technical data to enable all those interested in lead glazes for foodware to easily access relevant information in a single source. Several levels of information have been incorporated to address various needs including, detailed glaze compositions and lead extraction . This Handbook explains the safe use of lead-containing ceramic glazes and decorations in a range of industries from the large manufacturers to smaller cottage industries. Available to download as a printable PDF (3 MB).

Manual para el Manejo Ambientalmente Responsable del Plomo

- Manual for the Environmentally Sound Management of Lead

Cámara Minera de México (CAMIMEX) in conjunction with the ILMC, Peñoles, S.A. and the Center for Environmental Quality in Monterrey, have produced a practical guidance Manual for small to medium sized businesses wishing to provide a safe and environmentally sound working environment that includes a data base of all the relevant National Standards and Legislation covering the lead industry. (Spanish language only)

Presentation Materials

ILMC Risk Reduction presentation materials are available on the ILMC web site.

Product and Application Information

Risk Management Information for products and applications isavailable for the following:

  • Ceramics - Pottery and Glass
  • Communication and Power Cables
  • Fishing Sinkers
  • Lead Coatings, Piping and Sheet
  • Lead Pigments - including paints and children’s toys
  • Lead Shot
  • Lead Solder - foodcans and electronics
  • Leaded Gasoline
  • Life Cycle Inventory for Lead-Acid battery
  • Miscellaneous - including modeling and wheel weights
  • Noise Insulation
  • Plumbing
  • Radiation Shielding
  • Stabilizers