National Report – Lead in India’s Enamel Household Paints

Lead and its compounds are used in paints not only to impart colour but also to make it durable, corrosion resistant and to improve drying. Adverse health impacts of lead especially on children have led countries to restrict or ban its use in paints.

Publication Type

Journal

Experts

Abhay Kumar, Perry Gottesfeld

Time Frame

2008

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Description

While U.S. and other developed countries instituted measures to limit the use of lead in paints, some developing countries including India have failed to regulate their lead content. The present study was undertaken to determine the levels of lead in new latex (water-based) and enamel paints (oil-based) intended for residential use in India. A total of 69 paint samples (38 latex and 31 enamel samples) from six of the most popular brands were analysed for lead concentrations. While all latex paint samples contained low levels of lead, (i.e., well below 600 ppm as regulated by United States’ Consumer Products Safety Commission) the enamel paint samples of all but one brand contained significant concentrations of lead, ranging up to 140,000 ppm. In fact 84% of the enamel paints tested exceeded 600 ppm whereas only 38 % of all samples (including latex and enamel types) exceeded this regulatory level.

Additional information

Publication Type

Journal

Experts

Abhay Kumar, Perry Gottesfeld

Time Frame

2008